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Victor: What a tragic waste
Sunday, 11 December 2016 08:16

I HAVE to admit that even I was surprised at the number of people who had drowned in the Avon at Bath, not realising there had been 12 until I saw the actual list.

What a tragic waste of young lives, and how so completely unnecessary, as virtually all the deaths were, when it came down to it, self-inflicted.

No, no, I don't want to hear again that the people in the pubs and clubs  are to blame for serving someone already well intoxicated—after all it could be the person's acquaintances buying the alcohol, and the bartender seeing nothing.

I don't want to hear that it is the friends' fault either, for anyone surely is capable of saying 'no', and the friends too may be in a state that it is not realised how drunk an acquaintance is.

And I certainly don't want to hear that again it was the friends' fault for not insisting the person was put in a taxi—for surely that must be for the person himself to decide.

And as to fencing — all too often that has proven too much of an appeal.

I was once fairly well castigated for mentioning exactly the above in the case of one lad who drowned in the Avon and whose stricken mother accused them all, and me too.

But no matter the many and various excuses, if someone is stupid enough to get so drunk they cannot control where they are going, then step into the Avon, surely, there is only one person that can be blamed.  Like it or not.

And another

So there is another canal programme on the telly—about cruising on 'barges'—that rather shows how much they know!

This one comes under the illustrious title of Celebrity Carry On Barging, with its producers  promising us 'it is going to be your new favourite TV obsession'.

I should tell you more, but forgot when the first episode was, but we are told there will be 'an element of canal-based danger' with the celebrities—sorry, forgot those too—'being in a small, confined, water-based space'.

But I did remember it's on Channel Five, in case you are at all interested.

I gather it did not work

After being somewhat vilified for leaving sunken boats in locks, Canal & River Trust announced a while ago with its usual pomp and circumstance that it had joined up with River Canal Rescue (RCR) to get sunken boats out quickly, so we boaters were not held up.

This was after contractors had messed about at a Bath lock for a week attempting to get the sunken boat out but gave it up with RCR coming along and getting it out in a few hours.

CaRT then told us about its scheme to allow the professional, RCR, to remove sunken boats, wherever they were, quickly.

But alas and alack, something must have come unstuck with the arrangement, for the one sunk in the Soar in June and marked with buoys, is still there, with now the buoys having come adrift and the boat somewhat more of an hazard.

Mind you, CaRT had a crafty plan—it told us it had been removed, but had to admit later that it hadn't!  But let's have it shifted.


There was not only the sunken boat in the Soar, but one at King's Bromley on the Trent & Mersey that was left for 15 weeks.

Recently one sank in the Regents Canal, so how long is that going to be there?

Mind you, both were by the towpath, so as not actually hindering navigation too much, perhaps they don't matter.  But certainly don't fit in with the trust's description of its 'attractive canals', both being somewhat unsightly wrecks.

Has its advantages

That wasn't a very attractive description by winter moored boater Karen Mitchell on Sawley Cut about our marina at Sawley being the noisiest in the country.

Yes, we do have an airport, a motorway and even a railway near by, but doesn't dear Karen realise they can be very handy indeed?  The M1 for instance is the main reason we moor there—it takes us straight to the marina!

Off to the Smoke?—Two stations to choose from just minutes and a fast train. Off on holiday?—a bus stops bu the marina gate to the airport. How many marinas offer that?

Anyway, out Thomas is deaf, so what the odds, eh?

Victor Swift

[Note: There will be no updates on Monday, but will resume on Tuesday.]
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