Canal Boat - - This Month -

Steep rise in boat res­cues; Ch­ester­field saved from HS2?; CRT fees ‘not fair’; short­fall for Staffs & Worcs dredg­ing; Moira for trail­boat fes­ti­val; WRG tar­gets Ch­ester­field; Stand­edge check-up

MA­JOR IN­CI­DENTS RE­QUIR­ING boats to be res­cued from sink­ing or ground­ing have al­most dou­bled in the last year, in what in­land wa­ter­ways re­cov­ery spe­cial­ists River Canal Res­cue have de­scribed as “un­prece­dented” fig­ures.

The num­ber of ‘ma­jor’ res­cues (mean­ing sub­merged, par­tially sunken or grounded and need­ing a full RCR sal­vage team), has risen to 119 in the year end­ing 1 Novem­ber, 2016 from 65 in 2014-15; ‘mi­nor’ res­cues are up from 16 to 31.

In­ci­dents han­dled in­clude:

A weed hatch fault caus­ing a nar­row­boat to sink rapidly in Fob­ney Lock on the Ken­net & Avon. A sink­ing re­sult­ing from a boat’s bow wedg­ing on lock gates at Stone­bridge on the Lee. Four cruis­ers raised af­ter a ma­jor fire at Bar­ton Turns Ma­rina on the Trent & Mersey.

RCR, which has taken on ex­tra staff to cope, lists the ma­jor causes as be­ing: boats caught on lock cills; fail­ure to se­cure wide hatches; nav­i­ga­tor er­ror; and fail­ure to keep drain holes clear.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Stephanie Hor­ton felt that in­creased use of the wa­ter­ways re­sult­ing from milder weather (and re­cent TV cov­er­age of the canals) was “putting ad­di­tional pres­sure on us to keep the wa­ter­ways clear”.

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