Boats caught-out in storms and sink

Published: Friday, 01 December 2023

AS STORMS battered the country before this cold spell River Canal Rescue (RCR) reported an increase in the number of call-outs to recover submerged vessels.

Avon rescueIn October, Storm Babet alone, was responsible for 13 boats succumbing to rapidly rising water levels on the Caldon, Chesterfield, Leeds & Liverpool and Leicester canals, the rivers Great Ouse, Soar, Trent and Weaver, and in Leicester Marina.The RCR photograph is of a sinking in the Avon whilst the one below is a sinking in a marina.

ore vessels experiencing issues

RCR expects future persistent heavy rainfall and storms to increase the number of vessels experiencing issues and tells continually rising water levels will result in more divers needed to recover sunken boats, with RCR Managing Director, Stephanie Horton relating:

Submerged“Boats either couldn’t cope with the deluge of rain, were unable to rise in line with increasing water levels due to too tight ropes, or in the case of one call-out, sunk after trying to turn in strong currents, ended up listing and catching a tree stump where water overwhelmed the vents.

“A number were swept down river when flood waters and flow increased, depositing them, semi- submerged and miles from their home location.”

35 vessels fell victim to storms

RCR recorded in a seven weeks period, starting the beginning of October, 35 vessels fell victim to storms Babet, Ciaran and Debi. With our winters predicted to become even wetter, it’s important to prepare for stormy weather and check your insurance is adequate, Stephanie advises.

Over 40% of the rescues RCR has attended have had claims denied for differing reasons, including some where salvage is not included in the cover.