Amphibious tours of Taw-Torridge estuary in prospect

A COLOURFUL new tourist attraction is on the way to the Taw/Torridge estuary. Duck Tours are poised to take off this summer, offering tours on the two rivers and estuary aboard a commercial DUKW-type amphibious vehicle. An original project two years ago b

A COLOURFUL new tourist attraction is on the way to the Taw/Torridge estuary.

Duck Tours are poised to take off this summer, offering tours on the two rivers and estuary aboard a commercial DUKW-type amphibious vehicle.

An original project two years ago by the North Devon Ferry Company, in co-operation with the local authorities, failed to get afloat - but now a private entrepreneur has taken up the challenge and is hoping to get started in the next few weeks.

Paul White, 45, of Instow said it was the story in the Gazette of the earlier proposal which first caught his interest. He was then living in Hampshire and working in telecommunications.


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When that project foundered Paul decided he would do something himself.

He gave up his job and moved to North Devon with his fianc� to start a new way of life.

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Paul has bought a commercially built amphibious vehicle which ran between St Helier and Elizabeth Castle in Jersey between 1998 and 2006.

Having transported her over, he is now awaiting final checks by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and certification from the local authorities and hopes to have her on the water shortly.

Although based generally on the style of the 1940s military DUKWs, the vessel was built in 1998 and is much bigger, 40 feet in length. She is fitted out with 40 seats, although licensing requirements will initially limit Paul to taking 12 passengers at a time.

"The previous idea was for a local ferry, but I am planning to operate more as a tourist attraction than a ferry. I think it will be of great interest to visitors to the area," he said. "But local people will still be able to use it as a ferry. They will be able to get on and be dropped off to go for a picnic or have a day on the beach and be picked up later. I have a lot of support from a lot of people throughout the area. The interest is there."

The plan was to operate from three main points, Appledore, Instow and Crow Point, said Paul.

More details of Paul's venture are available on his website www.devonducktours.co.uk

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