Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Unreserved Apology to Mrs Pollard

Recently RCR was asked to provide photos for a television series which illustrated the dangers boaters faced in locks.  Due to a confusion over programme deadlines, we failed to consult with the owners and gain approval for their use prior to them being broadcast.  This lead to photos of Miss Pollard's vessel being shown without her permission.  We are very committed to our customers and are concerned when our actions impact upon them.   River Canal Rescue would therefore like to apologise to Miss Pollard for any distress the broadcast of her photo caused her and to redress the situation we have agreed to make a donation to the RNLI at her request.

In line with our policy to never allow the use of photos by third parties without the owners' prior consent, we would like to reassure other members that we will ensure their agreement is sought prior to any other images being used for publicity by third parties. As we failed in the instance, this is the reason for a public apology.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

River Canal Rescue acquires Key Diesels

Stafford-based inland waterway breakdown and emergency assistance firm River Canal Rescue has acquired Burton-on-Trent diesel injection system specialist Key Diesels.
River Canal Rescue is recognised as the ‘fourth emergency service’ for UK boaters and provides customers with replacement parts cover meeting the costs of specified parts and labour following an unforeseen breakdown.  Key Diesels is one of the UK’s top repairers and distributors of injection pumps, lift pumps and fuel pipes, and an authorised distributor of Delphi components.
The acquisition of 20 year-old Key Diesels illustrates how River Canal Rescue continues to go from strength to strength; the firm’s staff tally is now 27 (having grown from five in 14 years), it has a thriving apprenticeship programme and recently employed three new engineers and two apprentices.   
Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, says the merging of the two firms is a ‘great strategic fit’.  She comments; “By bringing the two firms together, we can address the issues faced by people across the country when diesel systems fail.  For example, there’s no price consistency - they differ from £300 to £700 for a BMC injection pump dependent upon location - and if a repaired or refurbished part fails, although it’s covered under a warranty, the labour costs to remove and refit another one, are not. 
“As the engine (which these parts support) charges the boat’s batteries and so supplies the power, a fast turnaround is crucial.  A typical wait for repaired or new parts is five to 10 days which is too long for a boat to be left without power.  We can now control these issues and deliver a more cost-effective service for our customers.”
This single solution approach of stocking and supplying all common marine parts with consistent pricing and a speedy turnaround also meets the needs of marinas and contractors who have pledged to use River Canal Rescue and its new subsidiary for their diesel system requirements.  And with expertise and the parts now so easily accessible, River Canal Rescue is currently training all of its engineers in this area.
Four Key Diesel staff; head engineer Hugh Hudson, mechanic Steve Humphreys and apprentices Dave Moore and Shannon Andrea will be based at the existing office in Burton-on-Trent.  River Canal Rescue remains at its Stafford offices.
To find out more about River Canal Rescue visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk


River Canal Rescue flood update

As river levels recede after their unprecedented rises, breakdown and assistance firm River Canal Rescue continues to be kept busy retrieving sunken, grounded and partially submerged vessels. 
From January 1 to the end of March, emergency assistance teams helped 43 boat owners on a number of canal and rivers across the UK, including the; Thames, Wey, Kennet & Avon, Leeds & Liverpool, Grand Union, Nene and Gloucester & Sharpness.  These types of rescues would usually be around 20 for the winter period.

The highest number of call-outs, 49%, was for help refloating sunken vessels.  Next came calls to release grounded boats (25%) which were displaced by high water levels and typically dumped elsewhere when river levels subsided.   “Unfortunately,” says RCR Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, “some were washed downstream and submerged or damaged.”

Requests for pump-outs to stabilise listing craft accounted for 21% of call-outs.  Stephanie continues: “All call-outs are time critical but in these cases, a swift response can help minimise damage and save a boat from some of the worst effects of the floods.”
She concludes: “Displaced boats wedged in new and often dangerous locations, craft crashed into bridges (in one case resulting in a sinking), ones overwhelmed with water and vessels in need of refloats were commonplace.  In many cases it’s waiting for that optimum time to undertake the rescue and the earlier we are made aware of stranded boats the easier it is to choose the right time to attempt a rescue.  Whilst this weather event has stretched our teams, we’ve never lost a boat yet and don’t intend to do so now.” 
To find out more about River Canal Rescue visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk or phone 01785 785680. 
Case studies include
Queen of Hearts 70ft Narrow boat sunk at Abingdon
28ft Cruiser on river Wey damaged and sunk following a tree fall
57ft narrow boat broke mooring in high winds and came to rest against bridge on the Gloucester & Sharpness, and quickly sank due to the water and wind
57ft wide beam near Sonning, partial beach and partially sunk
Three cruisers stranded on bank in Staines in February, another three in March
50ft narrow boat partially grounded and partially submerged with the extra challenge of being under a wide beam neighbour
70ft narrow boat stranded on the bank
Cruiser stuck in a tree on Thames
Four cruisers on the Thames in Staines/Windsor area – submerged and refloated
Cruiser washed down river and found in Sunbury upside down – on refloat only half of the boat left
Cruiser at Beal Park and three narrow boats at Reading saved from sinking
Grounded narrow boat on river Nene
Partially sunken narrow boat on Trent & Mersey

Cruiser on Leeds & Liverpool sunk