News releases

TSB # M 03/2004

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA RELEASES INVESTIGATION REPORT M02C0030-SINKING AND LOSS OF LIFE AMPHIBIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLE LADY DUCK OTTAWA RIVER - JUNE 23, 2002

(Ottawa, Ontario, June 3, 2004) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today issued recommendations to improve transportation safety following its investigation of the June 23, 2002 sinking of the amphibious passenger vehicle Lady Duck. Six passengers and two crew members escaped. Four passengers were trapped within the sinking vehicle and drowned.

"Our investigation identified serious risk factors that must be addressed," said Charles Simpson, Acting Chairman of the TSB. "The recommendations, combined with safety actions taken to date, will improve safety; that is why we do our investigations," he added.

The investigation determined that the Lady Duck was unique in its construction. The Lady Duck was a truck converted for use on water as well as on land. The other amphibious vessels operating in Canada are purpose-designed to be used both on land and on water.

In its final report, the TSB makes recommendations to Transport Canada and the National Search and Rescue Secretariat that, when acted upon, will make travel on small passenger vessels safer. Specifically, the recommendations address the following:

  • ensuring that safety management systems are in place for operators of small passenger vessels;
  • making the regulations easier to understand and ensuring that they apply to all small passenger vessels, including this type of vehicle;
  • ensuring that small passenger vessels remain afloat or are easily evacuated; and
  • taking measures to promote a coordinated system to monitor distress calls and provide emergency assistance.

The Board is also concerned about the lack of information sharing between Transport Canada and provincial transportation ministries related to amphibious passenger vehicles. This concern has been communicated to both levels of government.

Copies of the Marine Safety Advisories and Marine Safety Information Letter, along with the Transport Canada responses, are available upon request.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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For additional information, see the following documents:

Fact Sheet
M02C0030 Investigation Report
Photo Gallery

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
819-994-8053