Beginner had to be rescued

Published: Thursday, 25 February 2010

A WOMAN who was  seduced into the idyllic life of waterway living had a rude awakening into its realities when she took to the Avon in flood conditions, and had to be rescued by firefighters.

Victoria Ridgway, seeing the life as portrayed by the television programmes, sold her house for the life aboard with her cat, but choose to take her 57ft narrowboat out on the Avon in flood conditions, Alan Tilbury tells us.

Lost control

As she was attempting to turn into the current it took hold of her boat, she lost control with it  jamming between Beaufort Bridge and the bank.

She had to be rescued from her boat, together with her sister Alex, and it then took the fire people three hours to release it.

This was their first time on the boat, with the pair having brought it down from Stafford, with Victoria remarking:

"We were pretty proud of ourselves that we had done that, until this happened.

As soon as I got into this current, I lost control of the steering. The current was so strong. It was like being in a car crash—when you can see what's going to happen but there's nothing you can do about it."

Missed lock entrance

The steerer was not aware of the lock entrance at Tewkesbury, going straight past, then attempting to turn into the current, which caused the complete lack of control.

The firefighters warned the pair of the danger of boating in such conditions, and advised that they leave the boat where it was until the water level had subsided.