RIVER Canal Rescue reports on June 11 it successfully raised and disposed of a 20ft cruiser that was vandalised, burnt out and sunk in the middle of the Trent & Mersey Canal in Middlewich.
Time was of the essence as the town’s annual Folk & Boat Festival runs from June 15-17and the craft was causing an obstruction.
RCR managing director, Stephanie Horton, comments: “Although we were notified of the incident when visiting the site, we could not locate the boat. It was only when the cruiser had been hit by several boats that the Canal & River Trust cornered it off and contacted us, so there was real pressure to move it as soon as possible.
“Given we had to crane it out of the canal, satisfy the CRT’s third-party works process and issue warnings and restrictions, it shows what we can do when all parties pull together.”
In October last year, RCR reported increasing number of vessels were being torched or taken by joy riders and called for boat owners to be vigilant.
The firm is also working with the CRT and contractors to plan the lift out and removal of the last vessel still stranded by the Middlewich breach.
RCR has already attended to ‘right’ the vessel and make safe, but with the vessel yards from a sink hole, it is imperative to remove in order for works to continue. CRT contractors have now laid a road down the middle of the canal to allow a crane/Hiab to access the boat.
The rescue, which RCR hopes will be completed within the next two weeks, is essential if work is to continue on the repairs. The Trust estimates repairs to the breached embankment and aqueduct arch over the river Wheelock will take six months.