Marina ran dry

Published: Friday, 19 June 2009

IT WAS quite a shock for boaters at Fiddler's Ferry Marina yesterday (Thursday) when they found their boats on the bottom.

The state of the lock gates on the Sankey Canal by the marina are so bad, that unless water is constantly pumped in from the nearby power station, it drains away. And yesterday whilst the pipes were being cleaned, the supply was turned off and so out went the water through the leaking lock gates.

Hundreds of fish died, though boaters, wading through the thick mud saved many and transferred them to other parts of the waterway.

Once the water was turned back on the marina slowly filled, helped by placing weighted tarpaulins to block off the gaps in the lock gates.

Boaters claim Warrington Borough Council is the culprit for failing to repair the lock gates and invest money in the marina under their jurisdiction.

Marina Manager Mike Hughes also blamed the council:

"The loss of water was not something new, the council has been aware of this problem for more than 18 months and has done precisely nothing about the lock gates.

"No fault can be attributed to the power station, in fact only for their prompt action and that of the harbour master the marina would have been empty for some considerable length of time."

The Sankey Canal is one of the oldest in the country, boasting of the first ever with broad lock gates.