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A week of Thames boat rescues

PUBLISHED: 15:34 04 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:34 04 February 2014

Archant

After over a month of exceptionally wet weather, with many rivers at unusually high levels, a number of boats with home moorings on the Thames have needed to be rescued after they broke loose, sank, or were beached on the banks.

After over a month of exceptionally wet weather, with many rivers at unusually high levels, a number of boats with home moorings on the Thames have needed to be rescued after they broke loose, sank, or were beached on the banks.

This has given inland waterways breakdown callout specialists River Canal Rescue a busy month. In the week from 17 to 24 January alone, they were called upon to rescue a 60ft narrowboat marooned and filling with water in Reading; another 60-footer wedged on an underwater obstruction; a 70ft boat stranded on a river bank by falling water; two cruisers that had broken free from their moorings; three cruisers aground in back yards; a sunken 30ft cruiser; and a floating café which sank.

Some were immediately re-floated or secured by RCR; others had to wait until floods had receded, with RCR relying on ‘spotters’ to monitor levels; one or two freed themselves; but after an attempt involving four pumps failed to raise the café, it awaits lower water levels before a further attempt using flotation bags.

RCR head Stephanie Horton said “So many rescues in such a short time illustrate the importance of having access to a support mechanism”.

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