Shows now dangerous boating can be

Published: Monday, 02 November 2020

YOUR story this morning of the sunken boat in a lock on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal just shows how dangerous boating can be, writes James Henry.

I obviously don't know the actual circumstances, but it is told the boat's bow was stuck between the gate and the lock wall, that would imply it was jammed in the 'V' section of the bottom lock gate and the wall but not caught on the cill.

Should make dangers better known

Now boating for well over 20 years I know the dangers of being caught, though more often by the stern on the cill, but whatever, it really is about time that Canal & River Trust made these dangers better known, particularly being caught on the cill as you have so often published.

It was in a sunken boat in a Leeds & Liverpool lock that a disabled man was drowned, being unable to escape as the boat sank, and I have always taken great care in the short locks of that canal. They are only 60ft long locks from Leeds to Wigan, and I know of others who have attempted similar locks on other waterways with longer boats wedged in cross ways, but it is a dangerous game.

The Trust should put aside the fear of 'frightening the horses' and have notices on locks pointing out the dangers particularly to new boaters, for the word 'cill', often obscured, on the ground is not enough.