Not an emergency

Published: Wednesday, 01 November 2017

IN RESPONSE to our comment concerning Stan and Steph White waiting five days for a call-out to attend a leaking stern gland, Stephanie Horton from River Canal Rescue replies:

“We did indeed receive a call from Stan White on Monday 9 October, but we believed it was not for an emergency response or to attend a breakdown. Stan contacted the Canal Contracting part of our business, which handles requests for replacement parts and plans engineer bookings, to advise his sealed Vetus stern gland was leaking. He gave us the part number and asked us to source a replacement.

“We gave Stan an estimate that day and on the Tuesday he agreed its cost. Later on the Tuesday he notified us that the leak was significant and asked if this could be expedited. We confirmed we’d ordered the part as quickly as we could. Stan did not however, raise this as an urgent issue. We ordered the part the same day and on Wednesday 11 Oct got in touch to ask Stan not to continue moving the boat as the replacement gland was likely to arrive Thursday morning. Given he was cruising and unsure of timings, Stan agreed an engineer could fit the part on Friday. On the Thursday we confirmed via SMS that we had the part and an engineer would visit at 8am on Friday.

"During the course of our contact we were not given the impression this was a request for immediate attention, particularly as Stan reported later in the week that he was on the move. A stern gland leak is dramatically reduced when the boat is not moving.

“Our call records show that rather than being a request for immediate attention, this was a request to replace and fit a part. Had we been aware it was more urgent, we would have responded immediately - although we would have only been able to pack the stern gland with grease as a temporary measure.

“We do not have a record of Stan’s subsequent complaint, but we do take all complaints very seriously and will act to resolve them. I urge Stan to call RCR again so we can discuss this further.”