CaRT's 'Inappropriate Mooring' caused damage

Published: Monday, 10 February 2020

From today, Monday 10th February, the new 'Inappropriate Mooring' process will be applied where a boat is
moored in a way that affects safety, quotes Tony Dunkley.

The above few words, from CaRT's Head of Boating Matthew Symond's in a 6th February 2020 Press Release, not only see his employer's achievements in hypocrisy soaring to new heights, but also begs the questions— what was the catalyst for introducing this 'new' process at this particular juncture and how does it differ from the Trust's old 'Inappropriate Mooring' process which, presumably, was the one with which they themselves were BargeSelbyMichaelconscientiously complying when they moved my commercial carrying company's 250 ton barge, Selby Michael from it's CaRT allocated commercial mooring above Hazleford Lock (on the river Trent between Nottingham and Newark) last year and left it moored to the lock island bull-nose below the weir throughout the last few months of the Trent's floods without bothering to re-use all it's mooring lines, or re-rigging the precautionary anti-vandal wire rope and bulldog grips from the barge's bow to a shore bollard.


Selby Michael was first sighted adrift in the Trent in the early evening of Sunday 26th January 2020 and the immediate concern on the part of those who first sighted the drifting vessel was for the safety of any craft in it's path, and even more importantly, the safety of anyone who could or might be aboard them. The time and location of the first sightings of the drifting barge were reported by phone to the CaRT emergency number immediately but the Trust's assessment of the situation was that it was nothing of any immediate concern and would be attended to on the following day during normal working hours.

This was not a view shared by those who responded so promptly and capably to the emergency and succeeded in getting the barge under control and temporarily tied overnight to a tree near Mill Bight in Newark Dyke later that night.  Those directly involved in the hazardous operation were the owner of a boat damaged by the drifting barge at the Fiskerton moorings, the proprietor of those moorings, and James Wilkinson and Chris Chapman with the ex-BWB tug Friar Tuck, now owned and operated by Newark Marina.

Purveyors of 'waterside wellbeing'

Precisely what, you may ask, did the nation's leading purveyors of 'waterside wellbeing' contribute to ensuring that this serious threat to people's personal safety, and to their boats, was brought under control and averted without delay?

The answer—CaRT neither displayed any interest nor took any part whatsoever in securing the barge for the night and preventing it from doing any further damage, to property or people!  The best they could offer on the Sunday evening, with the barge getting ever closer to Newark by the minute, was a vague promise, made over the phone to the proprietor of the moorings at Fiskerton and to the owner of the boat at those moorings which had just been struck by the barge and damaged, to come out and assess the situation on the following day.

Failure to grasp the seriousness

I'm sure that two working weeks on from this dangerous incident, the owner of the damaged boat and the proprietor of the Fiskerton moorings will take great comfort from the Trust's latest Press Release and the
remarkable insight it will have given them into the directing minds behind the Trust's failure to either grasp the seriousness of the situation on the evening of 26th January last—or to act on it!

Is there, I wonder, any realistic prospect of our new Government exercising some sort of supervision and control over the activities of the irresponsible people in overall charge at CaRT, and to whom most of our system of navigable inland waterways has apparently been abandoned to do with as they will.

Thus far, the Trust, and all the potential victims of this very much 'unfit for purpose' organisation, have largely escaped any serious consequences in terms of loss of life or injuries arising out of the unspeakable shambles that has been created since British Waterways was consigned to history in July 2012.  How long will it be before CaRT do finally succeed in maiming or killing some of the supposed recipients of the particular brand of 'wellbeing' they expend so much effort and money in promoting?