TPaddlewheel Queen and the Paddlewheel Princess on the Red River in Winnipeg. Thursday, May 31, 2012. (Chris Procaylo - Postmedia Network)
Four youths have been arrested and charged with arson in connection with a fire that destroyed an iconic touring riverboat last week.
Selkirk RCMP announced Wednesday charges of arson have been laid against four boys after a fire May 9 destroyed the Paddlewheel Princess, the long-serving riverboat that remained in operation on the Red River until 2012.
A 17-year-old boy from Lockport, a 17-year-old boy from the RM of St. Clements, a 17-year-old boy from Selkirk and a 15-year-old boy from Selkirk have all been charged and released on promises to appear in court.
The fire occurred early in the morning of May 9 when Selkirk RCMP were called to a fire on a boat on the Red River. The boat had been destroyed by the time officers arrived.
No injuries were reported and the fire was immediately considered suspicious in nature.
The Princess was a staple of Manitoba summers for more than four decades. The Princess and its sister boat, the Paddlewheel Queen, cruised the Red since 1969 entertaining parties, weddings and a slew of dignataries that included Pierre Trudeau and Princess Anne.
The boat entertained more than 3 million passengers, its former captain and owner Steve Hawchuck told the Winnipeg Sun in 2016 when he put the boat up for sale.
“I’d like to see it operate again, not just sit there,” Hawchuk said at the time. “There are a lot of good memories.”