Mystery Of Ottawa River Shipwreck Revealed

A satellite has looked deep into the Ottawa River’s nautical past, sending two amateur historians on a search that identified a nearly forgotten shipwreck.  Andrew King spotted the piece of history, a ghostly outline in a satellite image of the Ottawa River that looked like a large boat.  The wreck is the former Jean-Richard.   The boat, built with hand tools beside the St. Lawrence River in 1959, is possibly the last of its kind produced.  This boat is significant because it was the last wooden goélette to be built by shipbuilders in that region and perhaps the last anywhere.  The retired cargo boat came to Ottawa in 1976 to serve as a river-cruise-and-nightclub boat, renamed Ville de Vanier.  When they were taking it to be stored for the winter, it caught fire and they just dragged it to where it sits now.  The wooden hull is still partly above the water in an area of bush used for outdoor parties.