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Hero hit by canal barge after saving girl, 5, with just seconds to spare

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5 minutes ago, David Mack said:

I wonder if CRT have any licencing, safety or other requirements for anyone offering a paid-for training service on their waterways, which goes beyond the terms of the standard British  Canoeing licence?


Yes.  Hire canoes / paddleboards etc are classed as Self-Driven Day Hire boats.

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3 hours ago, John Wareing said:

The canal at wigan is now open again, although not the Dry Dock. I assume they mean the next update is Friday9th!


Notice Update: 8th April 21

Navigation: Open, Towpath: Open

Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Location: Lock 86, Wigan, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Starts At: Lock 86
Ends At: Lock 87


Update on 08/04/2021:

We are pleased to advise that the navigation will re-open between Lock 86 and Lock 87. However, the Dry Dock will remain closed and an update will be provided, as mentioned, by Thursday 9th April

Oops - stuck this on the wrong thread!

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44 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:




nothing in the setup the instructors have in the pics is screaming professional. no buoyancy aids, no hi-vis. in fact i'd question the legality of the operation.

The children in the photos are wearing life jackets. The Mum did describe one of the instructresses as "professional", and it's not as of they're inexperienced youngsters: one of them is a grandmother. So I wouldn't have any worries on that score.

   It is, however, puzzling that ten or more tons of narrowboat, propelled by a fairly audible diesel engine, could approach them unnoticed - unless it was one of those new electric-powered boats.

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4 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:



It's one of my pet hates with the canoe rental places, who rarely seem to tell canoeists which side they are supposed to be when another boat comes past.  Keep right, dammit!



I knew that when I hired a canoe on the Waveney, unfortunately the wind had other ideas. I don't think the hire boats knew I was on the wrong side.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:


Presumably this outfit, since they have instructors Lynne and Jazz and operate all over Yorkshire.


Agree that looks likely.  In their blog the entry on acquiring "Qualifications" is only dated November 2020.. There won't have been much instructing going on since that date,so it looks like there isn't a great deal of experience.  No mention of any BCU or similar affiliation either.

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Many casual river/canal users are blissfully unaware of the circumstances faced by boat steerers.  As has already been pointed out, the profile of a narrowboat obscures a very large area of the water in front of it. They probably don't realise that boats don't stop very quickly, they don't go backwards very well and can't turn at right angles. 

At the same time, some boaters don't seem to understand that canoes and paddleboards are often under (out of) the dubious control of total novices and do not make allowances for that.

Also, if they are confronted by a 'sudden' appearance of  10 -20 tons of narrowboat, sane thinking goes out of the window and blind panic sets in making them even more unpredictable.

I can understand that a canoeist/paddleboarder does not hear an approaching boat. Not everyboat has a heavy thumping traditional engine, and even the old workhorses like BMC's and Perkins 4/ diesels can be silenced effectively. I can often cause panic to a hidden fisherman who I cannot see until he hastily pulls in his very expensive (invisible) pole.

Sharing water with any of these other groups needs vigilance, especially around blind bends, and we should be prepared to make slower progress in these circumstances. People supervising school or youth groups should have some accredited qualification, and of course insurance. River users are probably more aware of the potential dangers when apart from the aforementioned users abound, you also get swimmers and around Henley and Windsor for example, there are numerous small motorboats, often with alcohol involved.

Last year on the Thames, we shared Marsh Lock with another narrowboat, a cruiser and about 40 canoes/kayaks. Whilst waiting for the lock to open going up, the lockkeeper shouted himself hoarse at these to give way to the motor craft but they paid no attention to him, and the people instructing them did nothing to help him. We endured much hassle from these people as we tried to comply with his instruction, and having risen and started to exit the lock, many were intent on trying to weave their way through.

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18 hours ago, John Wareing said:

Oops - stuck this on the wrong thread!

Unstuck for you now, thanks to sharp-eyed member Graham Davis who brought it to our attention.

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