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Sunbury Lock blocked

TrueBlue

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Reported elsewhere -
Sunk boat at Sunbury lock
A narrowboat style broadbeam boat has sunk while EA (?) attempted to tow it off the guard piles at the head of Sunbnury lock cut.
I wsonder why 'they' decided to move it while the River was on Reds?
 

Outinthedinghy

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From the pictures on canalworld forum it looks like it had moved from its resting place against the guard piles and been sucked stern first into one of the radial gates.

Serious danger of damage to the weir?

They don't usually go out in red boards but if it was actually wedged in a gate then not much choice. Falconbrook is a powerful tug.

The widebeam canal boat had been on the guard piles for several weeks.

Better to have it on the riverbed than causing damage to a weir structure.
 

Wavey

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I regularly walk the towpath on that part of the river. The widebeam has been there for ages stuck against the piles but secured by a couple of long lines. The EA were obviously waiting for the river to improve before attempting to move it but over the past couple of weeks she started going down by the stern. No idea why but it was apparent if she wasn’t moved soon she would sink. The EA must have thought the same so attempted to pull her off but she sank anyway.
 

Outinthedinghy

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That's interesting. The reason for water in the engine compartment might be blocked deck drains specially if it's been moored under trees. Leaves block the drains the rain gets in. It has been raining a lot.

What I don't understand from your description is if the boat was secured by ropes someone at some stage managed to get out to it on another boat so why was it not hauled off the weir at an earlier stage?

Very bizarre. Specially considering that it looks like a reasonably valuable modern wide beam canal boat not an old wreck.Screenshot_2020-03-06-16-13-35-725_com.android.chrome.png

This image (not mine) seems to show the stern of the vessel actually in one of the weir gates.

Are you suggesting that the actions of the operators of the tug caused that to happen?

That seems odd but not impossible. It just looks from the photo like it's travelled too far back. Only explanation I can think of was the tow rope broke. If it didn't then how did that boat end up there considering the fact there does not appear to be a rope connecting the two in the image above.

It seems likely the boat got into that position by itself. But that is only speculation.
 
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Wavey

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All I can say for sure was that she was beam on and this side of the piles you can see on the left of that picture. There was a single bow and stern line securing her to the piles. Quite how she got from there to where she is in that picture I have no idea. When I saw her Tuesday of last week I’d guess her stern was about 9 inches above water, possibly a bit less.
 

Outinthedinghy

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If the stern was that low that would have the effect of making the back end of the boat a bigger resistance to the water resulting in a rotation effect and also be below the rope hanging between the piles. So if the back of the boat behind the tiller (assuming tiller steering) worked it's way under the rope then put a lot of pressure on the rope perhaps the rope parted and the resulting movement broke the long line to the bow t stud and the stern just swung round into the weir gate under the water pressure influence. There is still a lot of water about red boards up and down. Hoping for some yellows soon.

They are quite thick ropes between those black posts above the weir with decent shackles but could be a few years old. Staple spun polyprop by the look of it which is degraded by sunshine and once damaged will part quite easily.

Don't ask me how I know that but you do want to be replacing that kind of rope now and then or it will let you down !
 

alfaman155

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Sympathies to the owner of that boat.
My thinking when I saw the boat on 17 Feb was that it was a breakaway, judging by the way it had, presumably hastily, been tied to the only part of the weir's structure available. There is access from the lock island along a lengthy raised footbridge.
I took this pic at 4pm in fading light.
 

Attachments

STILL AFLOAT

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Sympathies to the owner of that boat.
My thinking when I saw the boat on 17 Feb was that it was a breakaway, judging by the way it had, presumably hastily, been tied to the only part of the weir's structure available. There is access from the lock island along a lengthy raised footbridge.
I took this pic at 4pm in fading light.
That is a very good photo.
However it does raise questions, because , it looks like the vessel, is tied to one wooden post , and not evenly, at that ?
 

Outinthedinghy

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That rope over the back of the boat is the guard rope hanging between piles not a mooring rope.

In that picture the boat does not appear to be secured unless viewing on a phone screen I'm missing details.

It looks like it's about to creep under that rope and be drawn into the large fully drawn radial gate the top of which is visible in the background in the picture, below the tiled roof structure.

I think that's a pretty large radial there with a lot of pull. Plus it's one of several so it's quite a hungry weir with a taste for boats.

The boat is resting on the first of the steel piles (they are I (or H) section RSJ not wooden posts) to be fitted with the circular sliding float device which are positioned at the point where the maximum pull is exerted by the weir. The piles further round to the right don't have the floats.

This matches the photo I put up earlier showing falconbrook with the wide beam semi submerged behind it with stern apparently wedged in the radial.
 
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TrueBlue

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I just can't get my head around how a boat with some 'considerable' value be left unattended on the River for some time?
One thread (which I can't immerdtaiely find) states that it had been moored up unattended badly near Shepperton for some time.
Another one stated "The boat apparently came adrift at Walton a while ago and has been sitting against the on the weir guard piles for several weeks".

The boat appears to have no name (at least not one conforming to EA rules) and looks (looked...) in reasonable condition. That sort of boats has a value of £80 - £100K, thus not a "heap".
Has it been stolen elsewhere - or as appears to be increasingly occurring - bought by someone with absolutely no knoledge of boats, boating,m rivers or w.h.y.

The waterways, particularly in the south, are becoming increasingly filled up with folks who can't afford bricks and mortar - but there are no facilities for the basics of living which most on here enjoy - sanitation - fuel supply - security and more. Not only that, but hamper those who do cruise thw waterways from enjoying them as well.
 

Outinthedinghy

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I did wonder when we had the Christmas floods if people would get caught out. Last winter 18/19 was incredibly calm on the River almost no red boards at all so it could have lulled people into a false sense of security. Then you get a wet one. And I don't reckon it's over I think we'll get another flood at some point just hopefully not a really big one.


I saw a similarly valuable wide beam modern canal boat up near Windsor tied up with a couple of 8mm ropes to tree branches. Seemed to have just been left there. £100k of boat easily .

It does seem strange that people would leave that sort of boat but you never know what's happening in peoples lives maybe someone died.
 

DogsBody

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That rope over the back of the boat is the guard rope hanging between piles not a mooring rope.

In that picture the boat does not appear to be secured unless viewing on a phone screen I'm missing details.
I agree about the line across the stern but if you zoom in far enough on a big screen, you can see what looks like a black mooring line running from one of the piles to the bow, difficult to be sure though from that picture.

boat2.jpg
 

Outinthedinghy

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I agree about the line across the stern but if you zoom in far enough on a big screen, you can see what looks like a black mooring line running from one of the piles to the bow, difficult to be sure though from that picture.

View attachment 86401
Yes well spotted.

That would tie in with the earlier comment where someone mentioned the boat being secured to the piles.

That's what seems odd. That someone was in a position to tie it up but not pull it off. Maybe somebody got over there in a dinghy or other small vessel.

As I said in an earlier comment it seems probable that this line broke once the boat worked it's way under the rope between the piles,because the attraction of the large radial weir gate was too much.

Its unfortunate that the boat did not follow the usual "go to the weir" instruction and end up outside the pub !
 

nfluester

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our boat went back in today so thought id have a run up to Sunbury you can see the red buoy in the channel and part of the sunken wide beam showing out of the water

sunbury.2jpg (2).jpg
 

Outinthedinghy

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Dave_Seager

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I wonder how the Environment Agency came to be the owners. I would have expected the boat to the property of the insurers after they had paid the original owner for a write off.
 

Outinthedinghy

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Maybe the EA are not the owners. The text in the listing does seem to imply they are but it may just be referring to the location of the boat not the current legal owner.

Is it possible that the insurance company decided to hand it over in order to avoid paying the storage costs?
 

Old Crusty

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Ownership remains, most likely, with the those who had it at the time of it sinking. The EA is unlikely to have assumed ownership but may recover and dispose of wrecks, recover its costs from auctioning off the vessel and bank the residue for the proper owner to claim later.
 
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