Saturday, 5 September 2009

Cropredy tragedy almost repeated

On hearing of the recent tragic death of a woman who fell from a narrowboat in a lock, most of the waterways community were shocked but satisfied that this was genuinely an incredibly rare accident. After all, a person could hit their head on falling or tripping pretty much anywhere; the canal location was merely a location for the tragedy.

But now we hear of a second, eerily similar accident at a lock in Newbury. Fortunately, this time the person survived although it appears it was a serious accident: as at Cropredy, the woman hit her head as she fell. Good to see that two bystanders lept into the emptying lock to pull her to safety on a ledge - presumably the cill.

We have a rule on our boat that everyone has to be visible to others when locks are being worked and if that is not possible - for example when locking up on big river locks - then we use a two-way radio to communicate and keep talking to each other.

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