Ottawa

10 years since Lady Duck drownings

Ten years ago today, four people — including a mother and her two young children — drowned in the Ottawa River when an amphibious pleasure craft, the Lady Duck, sank fast in the shadow of Parliament Hill.
The CBC looks at how things have changed since four people drowned in the Ottawa River 10 years ago. 2:52

Ten years ago today, four people — including a mother and her two young children — drowned in the Ottawa River when an amphibious pleasure craft, the Lady Duck, sank fast in the shadow of Parliament Hill.

The Lady Duck, a converted Ford pickup truck, sank in the Ottawa River on its way back to a marina in Hull on June 23, 2002. (CBC)

A Transportation Safety Board report released two years later found that broken bilge pumps and lax safety rules were to blame.

On June 23, 2002, the Lady Duck had 10 passengers and two crew members on board when it went down in a matter of minutes near the marina in Hull, Que.

Doris Wong, 45, her daughters Stephanie Yu, 13, and Tiffany Yu, 5, and a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Marielle Fullum, 66, died.

Victims had life-jackets, but were trapped

The victims were able to put on life-jackets, but were trapped inside the vessel.

Eight people were rescued from the water, while four others who were trapped in the vessel drowned. (CBC)

Doris Wong's husband, also on board the vessel, survived, along with seven others.

The report said four of the six pumps on board weren't working that day, that safety measures on board were inadequate and that the crew wasn't well trained.

After the sinking, Transport Canada ordered all amphibious craft to stop operating so they could be inspected.

The Lady Duck was a modified Ford truck.