Two Sunken Boats

Risky Moorings
There is a sunken boat some way up from Abingdon Lock. Other boats nearby were overgrown with vegetation, and had not moved for a while.
Risky Moorings
Another sunken boat can be seen at the far end of Wilsham Road.

The Vale of the White Horse introduced a new mooring policy at the end of 2017 to try and make their moorings available for visitors who stay for just a day or two. This did make me wonder whether some boats, that previously stayed at Vale of the White Horse moorings, are now moored at more risky places.

11 thoughts on “Two Sunken Boats

  1. Chris John

    Apparently the narrow boat above the lock was deliberately sunk and there is a police investigation. Most of those boats have not moved for a long time and many are not licensed so I doubt have boat safety certificates or insurance!

  2. John Monaghan

    Chris John,

    ‘Apparently’ and ‘Deliberately’ are strong words with no substance or proof.

    The police investigate all suck incidents as a mater of course.

  3. Spike S

    The semantics are barely relevant. Boats in that condition are poor seamanship at best and waterborne fly-tipping at worst. Notwithstanding those specific cases, any unmaintained and unregistered boat should be subject to removal from our cherished waterways.

  4. Helen Flynn

    I hate seeing all this rotting litter in the water. I’m wondering why it needs to be left there. Even if there is an ongoing investigation it should really be removed and put into police ownership until the investigation is complete. A burnt out car would not stay in situ for months so why a boat. It’s an environmental issue and needs to be addressed ASAP. Does anyone have any updates on this?

  5. Chris

    I’d guess that the reason why these boats are still there is purely financial. Lifting a boat from the water, especially in an isolated spot, and then moving it and storing until responsibility is established will not be cheap. Who pays ? Are we, as tax or rate payers to do so ?

    Somewhere there will be owners arguing with unwilling insurers or investigators trying to pin the costs on someone else. Moving them first and trying to recover the money would be, I guess, fraught with problems.

  6. Chris John

    The narrow boat certainly wouldn’t be lifted as it would be too heavy especially when full of water.
    It would have air bags fitted and pumps put in place. The airbags are slowly inflated whilst the water is pumped out. If the owner is not insured then the EA will have to do it and maybe claim the cost back from the owners. However if the boat is licensed (which I doubt) it’ll have to be insured to get a license.
    The EA really need to stop ignoring unlicensed boats. They motor past unlicensed boats every day and just ignore them preferring to go into marinas as it’s easy pickings

  7. Spike S

    Don’t pussyfoot around. It’s been there too long and probably too far gone for economic repair, so why try to lift it intact ?

    This would be a good exercise for a trainee JCB driver ! (or Army Civil PR exercise ?) Then give the boat owner (if known) 4 weeks to remove the bits or face a fly-tipping conviction.

    In the good old days the Sea Scouts with hand axes and a few ropes would have willingly reduced it in a day. That would never happen now as nobody would write the Risk Assessment. Progress ! Pah !
    (Rant over)

  8. Spike S

    I would not soil Backstreeter’s valued blog with derogatory personal comments about someone I have never met. While I admit the Scouts comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Chris John appears to be unaware of the manner in which small craft are economically dismembered when they reach the end of useful life. I await with much interest to hear how his superior intellect plans to remove these eyesores from our beloved river, but I won’t be holding my breath.


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