Rusted jubilee clip caused sinking

Published: Monday, 16 November 2009

IT WAS a rusted jubilee clip that caused a boat moored on the Thames to fill with water and sink.

The ex admiralty boat Rosehearty was noticed to be getting lower and lower in the water and listing at Egham on the Thames, and a lock keeper called out the fire brigade, as the owner was out of the country.

It was discovered that there was 120 gallons of diesel on board that had started to leak, and it was only the quick action of the fire crews that averted a potential environmental disaster as the boat was by then resting on the bottom of the river and listing at 30 degrees.

Diesel beginning to leak

By that time water had flooded in through the many apertures, including the portholes, with diesel beginning to leak out.

It was when the boat had been pumped out that it was discovered that a jubilee clip had rusted away releasing a pipe from an outlet that was below the water line, allowing water into the boat.

The owner has estimated the repairs could cost about £5,000.

Dunkirk support vessel

The boat was built for the Admiralty in the Second World War, and was one of the support vessels of the Dunkirk 'Little Ships', and has joined the return to Dunkirk three times to commemorate the 10 days operation in 1940 to bring back hundreds of thousands of retreating Allied troops trapped by the German Army.