Saturday, 15 November 2014

RCR raise vessel that has been stranded in lock for 2 weeks

After two weeks of being stranded in lock 10 of the Kennet & Avon canal, nb Langton was raised in a two-hour refloat by River Canal Rescue on Friday 14 November, 24 hours after the emergency assistance firm was called in to help.
On the day of its call-out, RCR sent a team to assess the boat and submitted documentation to the Canal & River Trust’s third-party works engineers to secure approval for the recovery.  Both parties worked into the evening to ensure all health & safety issues were addressed and a refloat could take place the next day.
Despite earlier recommendations to use lifting equipment or heavy plant- solutions, RCR was confident the recovery could be made with manpower, ropes and pumps.  
As the vessel was caught on the cill and lying at an angle, it was secured and stabilised prior to raising the lock’s water levels.  The rescue team entered the lock, sealed all water entry points and used tarpaulins to cover or ‘bag’ the front of the boat.  They also cleared the environmental spillage so the lock could be used as soon as they finished.
Having pumped out the water in the boat, the lock was re-filled under the watchful eye of RCR’s Rescue Co-ordinator, Trevor Forman, and the lock keeper to ensure water was at the correct flow for a steady refloat.  Once recovered, Langton was moored in the lock for checking and any remaining water removed.  It was then butted to another boat and taken to a nearby base by its owners.
Trevor comments: “We used ropes to restrict movement without any undue stress on bollards and the natural water movement in the lock to support the refloat.  This was a ‘text book’ rescue – we were four hours on site with a two-hour recovery – which proves with the right experience and expertise refloats can be achieved quickly and without too much disruption to the navigation system.  There were planned closures for this area of the K & A, so the incident affected very few boaters.”
Carl Cowlishaw, Anglo Welsh Operations Manager, concludes: “We can’t praise RCR enough – we were very impressed with their work and although we hope not to have to use them again, we wouldn’t hesitate in doing so.”
To find out more about River Canal Rescue visit or phone 01785 785680.


River Canal Rescue fire update

Following the fire at Staffordshire-based SP Fireworks on Thursday 30 October, River Canal Rescue is currently working from a temporary office.  Emergency and general enquiry lines are operational but on divert to mobiles - the main switchboard number is 01785 785680.
All mail is being re-directed to the new location so correspondence can continue to be posted to RCR at 10 Tilcon Avenue, Baswich, Stafford ST18 0YJ or Freepost NAT 11249, Stafford, Staffordshire ST17 0BR.
Despite the stores and offices being gutted, Managing Director Stephanie Horton is confident the breakdown and assistance firm will be up and running by spring - in time for the start of the boating season. 
She comments: “The fire wiped out stock we’d built up since 2000– refurbished items and pieces of equipment which are no longer produced.  However, we’ve started ordering base levels of stock so we can tick over and once we move into more permanent premises, we’ll be able to build upon these.  We would welcome donations of any parts that need refurbishing to help us build the essential stocks needed to support our customers. 
“Thankfully, essential stock, such as fan belts, filters and general breakdown parts was held in our eastern and southern stores and our engineers have a supply of fan belts, filters etc on their vans, so we can still supply these items very quickly.   Certain replacement parts are likely to take two to three days longer than usual as we are reliant on third-party suppliers, but we will endeavour to provide an uninterrupted service where we can.”
Stephanie concludes: “Although these are difficult times, we have contingency plans in place and a fantastic team to ensure the business continues running.   This coupled with the goodwill of the boating community gives me confidence for the future and I thank everyone for their messages of support.”

The team will not return to its original location as the area is being bull-dozed.   Stephanie is therefore keen to hear from anyone who has a canal-side property in the Staffordshire area to rent.