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Tim Lewis

Another Boat Sunk In A Lock

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And for those wondering what happened, given the boat is apparently going up in the lock, this seems to be the most plausible explanation.....

 

This happened last night, it was a group of young people sadly not focusing on what they were doing, the nose of the boat got caught under the lip on the front gate as the water was filling, forcing the front under the water. No one was hurt.

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How are they that close to the front in a lock that size. Are people just not paying any attention this year seams to be lots being sunk. Ive not once had an incident even close to this. Worst ive had is a week link on a finder brake

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Reading between the lines, I wonder if impaired judgement due to alcohol consumption was a contributory factor.

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And on the Facebonk page someone writes that CRT are only interested in licence fees and don't concern themselves with safety. Hey ho! Let's introduce mandatory boat driving tests, that'll solve it. angry.png

 

CRT and BW before them have a lot to answer for, but be careful what you wish for. This clip on the same page might be salutory though:

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/video-watch-narrowboat-sink-seconds-11758334

 

Perhaps it would be useful if all new licence applicants watched it. Probably much more useful than a whole load of silly "safety" features at each lock.

 

Tam

Edited by Tam & Di

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I see now that Alan Fincher posted a link to this on the "Kennet & Avon Fobney Lock" thread. The sinking is apparently to do with a weed hatch problem, but nevertheless it does illustrate just how quickly a boat can sink.

Edited by Tam & Di

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Looking at the pic, the lock gates appear to have steel sheets fitted on them. I have seen these on a few lock gates. Wouldn't these sheets prevent this from happening.

 

ETA.. unless you got the nose stuck into the corner.

Edited by AllanC

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Looking at the pic, the lock gates appear to have steel sheets fitted on them. I have seen these on a few lock gates. Wouldn't these sheets prevent this from happening.

 

ETA.. unless you got the nose stuck into the corner.

Agreed. A single narrow boat in a broad lock always needs extra care because of its ability to skew across and put its bow into the corner.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

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And on the Facebonk page someone writes that CRT are only interested in licence fees and don't concern themselves with safety. Hey ho! Let's introduce mandatory boat driving tests, that'll solve it. angry.png

 

 

 

It is just in keeping with the modern trend that whenever something goes wrong, somebody else must be to blame.

 

It seems that people want to be less and less regulated in what THEY do, but that somehow "the authorities" are to ensure that no harm coms to them

  • Greenie 3

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I see now that Alan Fincher posted a link to this on the "Kennet & Avon Fobney Lock" thread. The sinking is apparently to do with a weed hatch problem, but nevertheless it does illustrate just how quickly a boat can sink.

Yet there are repeated claims all over the place that the Fobney problem was a prop or propshaft problem.

 

Although I was ticked off for suggesting that even if you removed the entire shaft the sinking would not be anything like as fast as claimed, I still don't think you could get enough water through the stern tube fast enough, and it would takew much longer, (and that assumes that no propshaft is still in the stern tube, and I can't see how that can happen.

 

Weed hatch does seem far more likely. Unless they actually holed some bad steel in a "prop related" incident.

 

EDIT: to be clear, I hadn't realised this was the thread about the Stonebridge sinking. My comments refer to the Fobney one.

 

That said most of the standard warnings are about going DOWN in locks, and particularly the cill. The fact that two boats have fully sunk in quick succession going UP in a lock easily highlights that cills are not the only danger.

 

Those electric locks on the Lee look of ideal design for getting a diagonally placed narrow boat stem caught in. However, as the locks will hold boats from memory over 80 feet long, there really is no need to be close to them in most cases.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Looking at the pic, the lock gates appear to have steel sheets fitted on them. I have seen these on a few lock gates. Wouldn't these sheets prevent this from happening.

 

ETA.. unless you got the nose stuck into the corner.

 

Not if the sheets are nut and bolted on and the rope fender gets caught on a nut

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I don't think this is the same one but shows how quick a boat can sink.

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/narrowboat-sinks-seconds-dramatic-video-8661272

 

As you say that is the other sinking on the K&A.

 

However, being pedantic, all that dramatic video actually shows is how fast a narrow boat sinks once the hull has reached a point that the edges start to go under, (or at least any major apertures in it like large air vents start to go under.

 

The video only shows the final few dramatic seconds of what I believe would normally take far longer, because enough water needs to have aleady got in to bring the back as low as it was to go right under.

 

For the first part to be quick, I would say it needs to be something like...

 

1) Major hole punched through hull

2) weed hatch left off, and enough water pumped up through it by prop

3) Filled from an external source - e.g. to close to fast running gate paddles.

 

The video only shows the inevitable consequences of what had gone on after a critical point was reached, but gives little clue to what had happened first.

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Surely with a reasonable amount of care, and focus on the job in hand, any boat with any crew can pass safely through any lock without incident. After all they've being doing exactly that for over 200 years.

 

Calls for some form of safety licensing would not prevent accidents due to crew error or carelessness, and would therefore gain nothing but creating a layer of bureaucracy.

 

Seeing these unfortunate incidents will hopefully keep us all safer by raising awareness and diminishing complacency and casualness.

 

But they are hard to watch.

 

Rog

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If for whatever reason the powers that be for the different waterways think it is a requirement to attend a course & obtain a bit of paper ( to say they are competent) it would possibly/probably deter folk from hiring ( more so the late bookings spur of the moment decisions) & like on the roads just because you have passed a test it doesn't guarantee that you will behave as you did at the test + if the sinking in the video was down to not replacing the weed hatch lid properly a chit to say you're a competent boat handler wont cover that, or if the crew has consumed a goodly amount of "booze." Sinkings will continue to happen & " sods law" dictates the more boats you have on the cut the greater chance of it happening.

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Surely with a reasonable amount of care, and focus on the job in hand, any boat with any crew can pass safely through any lock without incident. After all they've being doing exactly that for over 200 years.

A couple I know who were lifelong boaters got caught out in the next lock up from there - its an odd one, lots of sticking out brickwork plus if you work the lock in the regular way, opening a paddle on the same side as the boat the opposite happens. The boat starts to smash around, its an odd one, that one. I don't like to judge these situations, it could be me, next time.

We don't know if they'd been drinking in this case, no comments that way from witnesses, anyway. Those electric locks are deceptive, the top gates look like they're not going to be an issue but a boat sank in Tottenham Lock the same way one or two years back.

I do think theres so much emphasis on cilling in locks, some people assume that's the only thing that can go wrong in a lock, far from it, I don't think any of the sinkings on the Lea in the past five years or more have been cillings, let me think. There was two weedhatch sinkings. Two getting hung up on the top gates, one got hung up on the brickwork, there was the day boat crew that didn't remove the swing bridge from Stansted Lock and sank because the bridge held them down as the water rose.

ETA there have been two deaths in the London area in locks, in the past year, both men fell in and hit their heads, I think in both these cases booze *was* a factor.

Edited by Lady Muck

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Very sad :(

What is it about being in a lock that makes weed hatch related sinking a possibility though? Or is this just coincidence that they were in a lock and engaged reverse, so could have happened coming in to moor?

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What is it about being in a lock that makes weed hatch related sinking a possibility though? Or is this just coincidence that they were in a lock and engaged reverse, so could have happened coming in to moor?

 

If we are talking about the K&A sinking, rather than the River Lee one, (the subject of this thread), it has been suggested that the very strong flow of water from the gate paddles can pull the boat very rapidly forwards towards the top gate, and, (if not held on ropes) large amounts of reverse at high power might be necessary to pull you back.

 

If so I can see that this might pump water over the lip of a weed hatch in a way that might not occur if you were just pootling along gently in forward gear.

 

That said (in the K&A) case they clearly managed to make it into the lock and stop, but the video makes it clear that they had only taken on enough water to actually sink the boat by the time the lock was nearly full.

 

Presumably the filling the boat with water was already well under-way as the lock was filling, but there are conflicting statements about likely causes.

Edited by alan_fincher

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If we are talking about the K&A sinking, rather than the River Lee one, (the subject of this thread), it has been suggested that the very strong flow of water from the gate paddles can pull the boat very rapidly forwards towards the top gate, and, (if not held on ropes) large amounts of reverse at high power might be necessary to pull you back.

 

If so I can see that this might pump water over the lip of a weed hatch in a way that might not occur if you were just pootling along gently in forward gear.

 

That said (in the K&A) case they clearly managed to make it into the lock and stop, but the video makes it clear that they had only taken on enough water to actually sink the boat by the time the lock was nearly full.

 

Presumably the filling the boat with water was already well under-way as the lock was filling, but there are conflicting statements about likely causes.

Seeing as we are now talking about the K&A sinking on this thread...

 

I've seen it said that a female was on tbe boat when it 'started' sinking, but she was successfully rescued before the boat went down.

 

In the video she can clearly be seen on the side of the lock, so one would assume that before the video started rolling, there was enough time for her to get in the water, swim to the ladder and climb out.

So even from the 'Abandon Ship' moment to the beginning of the film clip starting could well have been a couple of minutes. There could well have then been a period of time before that where they are discussing water ingress, bilge pump kicking in etc. This could well have been a few minutes.

 

That says to me that you might be correct Alan about the weed hatch being in place but not secured properly. The motion of reversing to a stop is enough to start the water ingress to a point where the inevitable would happen.

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I thought that too Alan. As yet we have no idea what the loud bang the owners heard was, but clearly the boat did not just sink in 90 seconds. How long does Fobney lock take to fill? There has been no mention of whether the lady was manning the tiller or controlling the boat in any way, just that she was onboard, so we can only just speculate again.

I did notice though, that in her state of panic, she continued to hold onto the centre rope as the boat sunk. Bless her.

 

Posted at same time as junior.

Edited by AllanC

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Very sad sad.png

What is it about being in a lock that makes weed hatch related sinking a possibility though? Or is this just coincidence that they were in a lock and engaged reverse, so could have happened coming in to moor?

 

Essentially, if we are talking about canals, rather than deep rivers, then when not in a lock, as the boat starts to take on water, and trim down by the stern, it is very likely to start to drag in the mud.

 

This limits the angle of trim, and increases the time until a major hull opening is submerged.

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I thought that too Alan. As yet we have no idea what the loud bang the owners heard was, but clearly the boat did not just sink in 90 seconds. How long does Fobney lock take to fill? There has been no mention of whether the lady was manning the tiller or controlling the boat in any way, just that she was onboard, so we can only just speculate again.

I did notice though, that in her state of panic, she continued to hold onto the centre rope as the boat sunk. Bless her.

 

Posted at same time as junior.

The 'loud bang' that preceded the sinking could have been the weed hatch being ejected into the engine bay when reverse was engaged. The weed hatch may have stayed in place whilst not clamped so letting water in and slowly filling the engine bay when in forward drive. Pure conjecture but one possibility.

Edited by Flyboy

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