Ride the Ducks landed in Philly in 2003. The company had been around for over 30 years, primarily operating on land and water in more rural areas, but after the launch of Boston Duck Tours in 1994, more an more touring duck companies ventured into metropolitan areas – as long as there was a way to get from land to water, a city could be a great fit for duck touring vehicles.
While Ride the Duck tours was a popular tourist excursion in Philadelphia, Ride the Ducks no longer operates in our city as the result of two tragic and avoidable accidents that took the lives of three people. The first incident occurred in 2010, the other just 5 years later, and then in 2016 Ride the Ducks closed up shop. Duck boats are quirky, they’re large, lumbering hulks of metal that instantly trigger feelings of nostalgia, and they can be deadly, not only in Philadelphia but other cities around the country. The catastrophe on the Delaware river in Philly wasn’t the first time someone lost their life in a duck boat accident, nor was it the last.
Thank you to Nicki, host of Strictly Homicide Podcast, for her participation in this episode!
Special thanks to musician Emmy Cerra for the music you heard in this and almost every episode of TwistedPhilly. Emmy’s music is available for download on iTunes.
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