People marooned on Anderton Boat Lift

Published: Thursday, 06 July 2017

THE good news is that this morning, Thursday, at 11am the Anderton Boat Lift re-opened once again, but the bad news was that 33 people were marooned when it broke on Sunday.

The main problem with the Anderton Boat Lift—right in fact from day one when it was re-opened after its restoration for the first time way back in 2002—is that the Health & Safety brigade insisted upon lots of safety features, that simply did not match too well with the design of the 1875 boat lift, only too often causing it to fail as the safety features clicked-in and stopped everything.

Anderton trip boat33 people marooned

It failed again on Sunday with 33 people marooned in the trip boat and the fire service having yet again to be called to rescue the passengers. The fire people rescued 18 people whilst 15 more agile, fed up of waiting climbed out themselves.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service had two fire engine crews at the scene with a specialist rope rescue unit from Lymm to get the stranded people off the boat.

Packed with Press and television

an openingEven on that very first day in early 2002 when the trip boat was packed with the Press and television people, narrowboatworld included, and the band played on, a safety device stopped the gates from opening when the boat reached the top!  The embarrassed British Waterways people then told us that we would not be able to take the short cruise on the Trent & Mersey after all! So down we went.

Since then, time and time again the lift has failed. When we took a cruise on the Weaver to take our own boat on the lift later that year, it failed, our being stranded amongst the other boats on the river waiting to use the lift, but luckily it was back in action the following day.

Though it is a unique experience, one that boaters should not miss, it is wise not to have too tight a schedule...