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What Lies Beneath?
A narrowboat that had been tied up to a
riverbank broke free from its moorings and was
carried quickly downstream in a strong current
that had resulted from heavy rainfall. Te
owner was on board at the time and did not
have time to start the engine. Te narrowboat
came to a stop when it became pinned to
guard piles, which protected a nearby weir.
Te local fre and rescue services were called
out to the emergency, and rescued the owner
using an infatable boat. Tey then made the
narrowboat fast to the guard piles. Despite
numerous attempts, the authority responsible
for managing the river was unable to contact
the barge owner, and it remained attached to
the guard piles for some considerable time.
Te owner had not insured the narrowboat,
and it had no licence permitting it to be
moored on the river. As a result, the owner left
the boat in the precarious position for several
months and made no attempt to recover it.
Te weather conditions worsened over the next
few months, with very strong currents due to
the river fooding. Te river authority was busy
with safety operations so was unable to move
the narrowboat on behalf of the owner.
With the river in full food and fowing
through the guard piles and over the weir,
the narrowboat eventually broke free of its
temporary moorings and was carried into the
weir sluice (Figure 1). Te boat started to take
on water and partially sank. As this now posed
a food risk hazard due to the narrowboat
partially blocking the weir, the river authority
mobilised its local tug to tow the narrowboat
from the weir in order to prevent further
damage. However, during their attempts to tow
it clear of the area, the narrowboat continued
to rapidly take on water and it eventually sank
in the navigable part of the river before the tug
could tow it out of the way.
Te submerged narrowboat now posed a
hazard to navigation, and it was marked at
one end with an orange marker buoy. Licensed
river users were notifed via email and social
media that this section of the river was closed
to navigation, and the river website gave details
of the submerged wreck.
Unfortunately, 2 months after the narrowboat
sank, a motor cruiser ignored the instructions
that the section of the river in way of the
wreck was closed. It hit the wreck and became
stranded on it (Figure 2).
Te wreck was eventually removed when river
conditions allowed for safe operations to be
Apart from it not being a narrow boat... And I am not sure what happened to te letter h I just copied and pasted te text !
The report doesn't paint a very good picture of either the owner or the EA. "we left a boat in a precarious position until it was too late to prevent it sinking and blocking the canal for navigation". This is negligence.
There was an anonymous widebeam of that colour linked to a bunch of boat break ins in London a couple of years back, which devolved on social media into accusations of vigilantism as usually happens when someone notices the appalling amount of crime directed at boats and their owners in London. It was unclear who the owner was at that point. Probably a coincidence but.