Don’t become the subject of a major boat rescue – make sure the weed hatch is secure
How many boats do you reckon were rescued by River Canal Rescue in 2016, ten... 20...? Okay, let’s go out on a limb and say maybe 40, certainly no more.
Actually, in the 12 months up to the beginning of November the number stood at 119 major and 31 minor incidents – that’s nearly double 2015’s figure (see page 6). And in case you’re wondering, major means ‘submerged, partially sunken or grounded craft, plus salvage work’; minor are those ‘that can be resolved without a full rescue team’.
So, what were the causes of so many major incidents? The main ones were navigator error, boats getting caught on cills, failure to keep weed hatches secure/ drain holes clear and not clearing the engine room of water. The cause that’s perhaps most surprising out of that lot is failing to keep the weed hatch secure, because in most boats it’s easy enough to get at and check. What also seems to be happening is that people are diving down the weed hatch, as you do, but are failing to secure it properly afterwards.
Just a thought for next time you go out on the boat.
And finally, as this is the last issue of 2016, all of us here at Canal Boat would like to wish all of you a very happy 2017.
NICK WALL Editor