More incidents responses than 2023 for RCR already

Unprecedented rainfall levels, water surges and numerous flood warnings resulted in River Canal Rescue (RCR) responding to more major incidents in the first three months of this year, than it did for the whole of 2023.

Between January and March, its teams responded to 155 major incidents (emergency situations either involving submerged, partially sunken or grounded craft, plus salvage work); in 2023 the figure for the year was 121.

Old Lady just visible below the water line

The extreme weather conditions, which included storms Agnes, Babet, Ciaran, Debi, Elin, Fergus, Gerrit, Henk, Isha and Jocelyn hitting the UK between September 23 and January 24, tested RCR recovery teams who were unable to raise submerged boats and free land-locked vessels until water levels reduced and the rivers/canals were safe to enter.

Managing director, Stephanie Horton said: “This has been a very challenging time for our teams; our ethos is to help people as soon as we can, but in some cases the weather and recovery conditions wouldn’t allow us to do so. Thankfully, all vessels are recovered now, but many of the cases are heart-breaking where people have lost their homes and possessions.”

Video recordings of a number of rescues in east London and Manchester, and on the rivers Avon, Soar, Witham and Great Ouse, can be viewed on RCR’s official You Tube channel

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