Boat fire shuts Ribble Link

Published: Thursday, 31 July 2014
A BOAT fire in Lock 7 of the Ribble Link has closed the waterway since last weekend when it went up in flames and burnt out. Keith and Jennifer Riley were passing through the lock when their narrowboat caught fire, that was so intense that they could rescue nothing from it, but call the fire brigade that arrived and eventually doused the fire, Alan Tilbury tells us. Bookings cancelled Being the access to the Lancaster Canal the passage across the Ribble is tidal, so the Link in not operational every day but the bookings for Sunday and Monday, when it was, had to be cancelled whilst the boat was inspected, removed and the area cleaned up. It was the engine that started  to overheat, but then burst into flame, catching the woodwork, and before long the whole boat was an inferno, it taking 16 fire people two hours to completely put the fire out. Lost everything Keith and Jennifer have been boating for the past 18 years, mostly as liveaboards, having lived in a house for only three years during all that time, moving into their present boat 15 months ago, that was their home, which means they have now lost everything, but have received help from the Red Cross. The clean-up of the oil and debris has now been completed, with the boat taken from the lock and moored nearby awaiting removal, and the Link again open.