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Lock 1W, Huddersfield Narrow


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#1 Mac of Cygnet

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:00 PM

As a result of a boat sinking at lock 1W on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, the lock has had to be closed. British Waterways are taking immediate action to re open navigation.

Anyone know how this happened? This lock can be a bit of a b*gger, because of the multiple heavy windlass turns required to operate the lower gates.
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#2 MartinClark

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

As a result of a boat sinking at lock 1W on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, the lock has had to be closed. British Waterways are taking immediate action to re open navigation.

Anyone know how this happened? This lock can be a bit of a b*gger, because of the multiple heavy windlass turns required to operate the lower gates.


I don't know how this happened in this instance, but it is all too easy for the front of the boat to become hung up on the bottom gates, which have no balance beams. The hydraulic paddles are painfully slow to close in such a situation.
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Martin Clark
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#3 MartinClark

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

I can add that, in this particular instance, the bottom gates were not involved. The boat is at the back of the lock and it seems to be a case of being hung up on the cill as the lock emptied.

Posted Image

I understand the boat was being towed by another one, and had been bow-hauled into the lock.

As this is the bottom lock of the canal, the pound below cannot be drained, so BW will need to put stop planks below the lock in order to pump put the water from the lock and the boat so that it can be re-floated. I have heard a report that BW need to cut some planks to size in order to do this. The draining may take place tomorrow if everything is ready. Waiting boaters have been warned they could be there for two days.

Posted Image
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Martin Clark
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#4 matty40s

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

I can add that, in this particular instance, the bottom gates were not involved. The boat is at the back of the lock and it seems to be a case of being hung up on the cill as the lock emptied.

Posted Image


Looking at the amount of water flowing in, it may not have been cilled, just filled whilst going down. sad sight.
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#5 lydfordcastle

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:39 PM

Looking at the amount of water flowing in, it may not have been cilled, just filled whilst going down. sad sight.


OMG that's where I nearly sank a hire boat on a one-way trip from Sowerby Bridge five summers ago. My son had just called me on my mobile so I was distracted from concentrating on the tiller and the first I knew about our problem was when my friend's wife popped her head over the front door and said "There's water pouring into the cabin through this door ; is that supposed to happen?".
Closely followed by realising that the bow was going down but the stern was staying where it was.
Immediately shouted instructions to friend and my wife on lock duty to close bottom paddles and open top paddles and we saved the boat by a few nanoseconds.
Bent the rudder somewhat but managed to get it back to the base for handover. Don't suppose Pennine Cruisers were too pleased but they didn't shout at me. I think I would have if I'd been them.
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#6 MartinClark

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

An update to this: The boat is still in the bottom of the lock and the canal is still closed.

Apparently some BW guys turned up with their cut-to-size stop planks, to find that they didn't fit tightly enough. They spend a while trying to pump water out from the lock and then left.

The boaters who are held up are not too perturbed as they won't be able to get through Lock 20w until next week anyway, as the stoppage there has had to be extended to deal with new problems that were found once the old problems had been fixed.
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#7 Darren72

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:30 PM

Looking at the amount of water flowing in, it may not have been cilled, just filled whilst going down. sad sight.

very sad sight that, makes me feel nervous about going down the Narrow next year when we go to Leeds via Stanedge.
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#8 safsnowball

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

The boaters who are held up are not too perturbed as they won't be able to get through Lock 20w until next week anyway, as the stoppage there has had to be extended to deal with new problems that were found once the old problems had been fixed.


Not quite sure what "old problems" have been fixed Martin. The original stoppage was to allow re-grouting of the lock walls. I had a look today and no re-grouting has been done. As with lock 1W it also seems like they have got stop planks in which aren't doing a very effective job at holding the water back.

Edited by safsnowball, 11 April 2012 - 09:07 PM.

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#9 MartinClark

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:49 PM

As with lock 1W it also seems like they have got stop planks in which aren't doing a very effective job at holding the water back.


I thought that was what I said....

very sad sight that, makes me feel nervous about going down the Narrow next year when we go to Leeds via Stanedge.


No need to feel any more nervous at doing the Narrow than at doing any other canal. Boats get cilled in locks on canals around the country.
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Martin Clark
Pennine Waterways Website - http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk

#10 safsnowball

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:22 PM

I thought that was what I said....


I was saying (or trying to say) that they have ineffective stop planks at 20W as well as 1W that you were talking about
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#11 MartinClark

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:11 AM

I was saying (or trying to say) that they have ineffective stop planks at 20W as well as 1W that you were talking about

Ah, sorry - I misinterpreted that! This does make me wonder what sort of policy they have on stop planks and maintaining stop plank grooves. An emergency is not the time to find that you haven't got any planks that fit or the grooves are useless. (I am thinking also of the photos of Tring Summit over the winter.)
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Martin Clark
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#12 MartinClark

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

Update 13th April:

The boat has been re-floated and the lock is now open to navigation.
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Martin Clark
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#13 MartinClark

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:34 PM

There is a post-script to this sad tale.

The reason the boat had been towed from Stalybridge and bow-hauled through the locks is that it had picked up a mattress on the prop that defied efforts to cut it off. It was heading for the dry dock at Portland Basin Marina.

Because the boat was not under power, the weedhatch was not put on properly, as this didn't seem necessary.

When BW tried pumping the sunken boat out, the water just came in again through the weed hatch, so they had to get a diver to go down and put the weed hatch on. BW then towed the boat round to Portland Basin Marina, tied it up and left.

Unfortunately they did not ensure that the weedhatch cover was on tightly - it wasn't - and the boat, with quite a lot of water still aboard, slowly started to sink again. Guy, the marina owner, was summoned back and got the boat pumped out again and the weed hatch was secured.

Somehow in all of this, the mattress managed to separate itself from the boat in the lock. When the boat was towed out, the mattress was left behind and was picked up on the prop of the next boat to come down!

Edited by MartinClark, 15 April 2012 - 03:36 PM.

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Martin Clark
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#14 luctor et emergo

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:05 PM

So, how did the boat fill up whilst not moving, whilst in the lock? Not because the weedhatch wasn't tightened, otherwise she would have filled up before reaching the lock?

Leaking gates, open doors?
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#15 MartinClark

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:26 PM

So, how did the boat fill up whilst not moving, whilst in the lock? Not because the weedhatch wasn't tightened, otherwise she would have filled up before reaching the lock?

Leaking gates, open doors?


The boat had already come through two other locks in this manner. One theory seems to be that the boat caught on the cill. Another theory suggests that the mattress was partly caught in the gate, preventing it shutting tightly, allowing water to pour onto the boat's counter and down into the cabin. The photo shows what appears to be some greenish material above the centre of the cill so this is a possibility. But if one end of the mattress was caught under the gate and the other end hooked around the prop, that would also help to tip the boat forward. I suspect a combination of these factors.

Posted Image

Edited to add: I don't think the loose weedhatch contributed to the sinking in the lock - the boat had come from Stalybridge like that. The weedhatch did contribute to the difficulty in re-floating the boat and nearly led to a second sinking.

Edited by MartinClark, 15 April 2012 - 05:31 PM.

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Martin Clark
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