Narrowboat holed cruiser and left

Published: Friday, 11 June 2010

A NARROWBOAT struck and holed a cruiser  on the Kennet & Avon Canal at All Cannings, then left the scene leaving it sinking.

The owners came back to their boat Wildwood to see it low in the water, so immediately rang the fire brigade, and quick use of pumping equipment saved it from sinking completely.

Kept boat afloat

As the fire officers kept the boat afloat, owners Dale and Becky Haworth were able to rescue most of their belongings from their 45ft cabin cruiser, on which they have lived for the past seven years.

Becky Haworth thanked the officers for fighting for over two hours to save the boat, and being able to secure it to stop it sinking completely.

Went into the water

Dale and a work colleague Tom Hodkin went into the water, and managed to attach a tarpaulin to the hull of the vessel and make it temporarily watertight, but it will need major repairs in a dry dock.

Of the incident, Becky related:

"We spent the night with friends but we are now back in the boat with a heater drying things out. It is a struggle but we'll manage.

"We don't know which boat hit ours. There are so many hire boats around and you don't need any kind of licence or training to steer them. A 20 tonne boat travelling at 5mph can still make a heck of a dent. A metal hulled boat would show no signs of damage but a wooden boat like ours is very vulnerable."

Fire crews from Devizes, Pewsey, Warminster and Westbury attended the scene together with  a specialist water rescue team from Trowbridge.