WHEN is a boat not a boat—when it's stuck in a tunnel!
Then it becomes an 'obstruction', for there's no way CaRT want boaters to know that their boats can actually get jammed in a tunnel, as the one in Preston Brook at the end of the Trent & Mersey.
But one certainly did get stuck, and as you have probably read, needed firefighters with specialised equipment and a boat to drag it out.
And then engineers to discover why and how it became stuck.
We have been though this tunnel a few times, but can't remember it being tight, mind you, we have nothing on the roof, if it was that that caused the problem, so I would reckon that most likely if the tunnel roof had lowered over the years and it was a boat well loaded up top that would have it jammed.
But whatever, it will all be hush-hush, and eventually we will be told by CaRT that engineers have examined the tunnel and all is now well and the 'obstruction' has been removed.
Oh yes! Why needing engineers to examine the tunnel after an obstruction—there are lots of things falling off boats causing obstructions in tunnels, that certainly don't require inspections. Rather giving itself away, eh?
The cup has sunk
Here's a brand new one for us from CaRT explaining the stoppage at Radcliffe Lock on the north end of the Leicester Section of the Grand Union. It tells us that 'the cup has sunk'.
This particular lock has been having problem since last July with one thing or another including the leaking bottom gates making it very difficult to fill, as we ourselves have experienced, resulting in it being so difficult to get the water level in the lock to open a top gate. The picture shows just how worn they are, being unable to completely close.
It's latest problem we are told is that the gate is secured in the cup, but the cup has sunk! But that the lock can now be operated, but boaters are asked to use with caution.
But worse is to come.
This will not be attended to until the next winter stoppage—and of course providing that this particular planned winter stoppage doesn't follow so many others that get cancelled...
A sad loss
It was sad indeed to learn that coal boat owner Rick had drowned and he will be sadly missed by the many boaters who relied on his wares and particularly to supply them with coal, that is so essential.
He was discovered early last Friday morning by his coal boat at Bedworth on the Coventry Canal after emergency crews were called to the scene together with a water rescue team, with paramedics pronouncing him dead at the scene.
Rick will be a loss to boaters, as his journeys supplied many with the coal that is so essential, and now have the problem of obtaining it elsewhere.
But not only he supplying coal but as our Keith related, 'a very nice fellow' who will be sadly missed.