Prevented boat sinkings

Published: Wednesday, 24 January 2018

I WAS not at all surprised to read that boat sinkings are on the increase as there has been an increase in slap-happy boating, especially through locks, writes Sid Haworth.

Last year I personally prevented two sinkings in locks. One on the Trent & Mersey at Alrewas Lock and the other on the Staffs & Worcester at Marsh Lock. Both times they were hire boats and were being allowed to drift about the locks whilst descending, and both caught on the cills.

Hadn't a clue

The hirers in both cases hadn't a clue what to do, so I  quickly closed the paddles in both cases, and at the Alrewas Lock I had to let water in to float the boat otherwise it would have surely sunk.

It was clearly obvious, and in one of the events, I was told, they had not been instructed about being caught on the cill, or else it had not been pushed enough.  There really should be notices explaining the danger, but I expect Canal & River Trust will not want people to know this, but the word 'cill' painted on the ground is just not enough, as the number of sinkings clearly show.