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A group believed to have been on a stag do ended up sinking a 30ft-long canal boat and crashing a second, causing havoc on the usually peaceful Droitwich Canal in Worcestershire.
River Canal Rescue were called out to deal with the sunken hire boat, with images showing the rescue team aboard the boat while refloating it.
The group hired three boats from ABC Boat Hire in total, and had reportedly already abandoned one before the other sank.
Fellow canal user Amanda Huxtable claims her own boat was hit by an ABC hire boat shortly after 10pm on Friday (20 May).
She told Stroud News & Journal: “I called the police because I was extremely frightened by the events. These guys were incapable of being in charge of a 65ft narrowboat.
“ABC had let three narrowboats to a stag party. One sank in a lock after mooring in it, one went elsewhere on the canal system and the third hit me at Astwood Lane near Stoke Prior.”
A spokesperson from the Canal and Rivers Trust told the publication: "The first time the Trust was notified of the situation was at 9.30pm on Friday night but that was only in relation to some flooding on a nearby road.
"By about 10.15pm it was identified as being related to misuse of the locks.
"At 6.30am on Saturday morning we were notified by the West Midlands Fire Service that a boat had sunk.
"At this point a team from CRT visited the site where it was found that the water had dropped overnight, creating a slight risk.
"We are relieved that there have been no injuries or anything worse.
"Two of our staff have stayed on-site to make sure it is secure and they are liaising with the fire service and River Canal Rescue."
Locals have slammed the behaviour of the group on social media with one person commenting: "Apparently these idiots hit several boats before this happened.
"The police were informed but they declined to get involved.
"If they had, perhaps this could have been avoided. Thankfully no one was killed."
Another said: “I hope the people who hired it get a huge bill, plus they shouldn't be allowed to hire another boat out again.”
All the boats were owned by ABC Boat Hire - a spokesperson from the company told Stroud News & Journal: “Full handovers were carried out at the marina before the guests left the boatyard yesterday afternoon.
“The parties have been removed from the other boats in the group and no one has been hurt. The boat is currently being removed from the lock.”
The Canal and Rivers Trust is planning to launch a full investigation into the incident.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/River Canal Rescue
Topics: UK News
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