30 Sep 2013

30 rescued after fire on tour boat on Thames

6:20 am on 30 September 2013

Thirty people were rescued when an amphibious tourist vessel on the River Thames caught fire close to the Houses of Parliament on Sunday.

Many jumped into the river from the London Duck Tours craft.

All the passengers and crew were rescued by the emergency services and a passing tourist boat.

The BBC reports three people were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Those on board are believed to have included visitors from Britain, Brazil, Russia, Australia and Sweden.

"I was scared the boat might blow. It was scary,'' said Donna Wood. "There was a lot of smoke inhalation, so we jumped in the water.

"We're Australian, so we know how to swim. But I've lost my bag with my passport, everything I need to get back to Australia."

The BBC reports the damaged boat was pulled away from the scene and the fire service is investigating how the fire started. The Port of London Authority is also expected to investigate.

An operating licence for amphibious vehicles in Liverpool was revoked last month, after two vessels sank in March and June.