River Canal Rescue raised the capsized narrowboat at Barrow, on the River Soar, on Wednesday 25 March.
Torrential rain and surging water caused the boat to break its moorings, sending it down river to bridge 30 where it became wedged.
The vessel was left in a precarious position, with the bow in the air and stern in the water, see-sawing on the barrier.
A refloat could not be undertaken until flood waters receded, however as levels quickly went down, the barriers gave way, resulting in the vessel capsizing and becoming trapped between the bridge pillars and the barrier pole.
This multi-agency rescue also involved Essex Boatyard and Crouch Recovery.
RCR managing director Stephanie Horton said before the recovery: “The best way to undertake this recovery without the vessel overturning and sinking in the river is to use divers, airbags and plant machinery.
“We’ll inflate the airbags, right the boat and then pull it forward away from the bridge with airbags on it. We’ll then pump it out, make it secure and tow it to a safe location – Pillings Lock.”
The boat was lifted onto a transporter and taken to a local yard for storage and assessment.
Given the extreme weight of the boat, RCR used four winches with a total of 20-ton capacity to pull it away from the bridge.
- RYA provides coronavirus advice to members, clubs, class associations and training centres
- Hire boat firm slashes cancellation times
In order to prepare the rigging, Essex Boatyard practised on a narrowboat that was capsized at the same angle as the stricken vessel.
River Canal Rescue were onsite Monday 23 March, preparing equipment, strapping the boat and managing health and safety issues.
See the images from the rescue below:
boats for sale and sell your boat for free with Towpath Trader.
- Inside the January issue of Towpath Talk - December 23, 2021
- Inland Waterways take centre stage at BoatLife Live 2022 - December 16, 2021
- Video: Canal & River Trust Chief Executive shares a message to boaters - December 1, 2021