YOU sometimes wonder what goes on in people’s heads, don’t you? You probably read in last week’s Herald and News about the youngsters whose rowing four crashed into Walton Bridge throwing its crew into the water and totally wrecking the boat.
It was only the quick thinking of the lads in the crew who managed to climb onto the support of the bridge to keep themselves out of the water that prevented them being swept away in the strong stream and risking death in the near freezing water of the Thames. Thankfully, the whole crew were rescued – cold and frightened but otherwise generally unharmed – and the main casualty was the boat.
But what on earth were the coaches thinking at Walton Rowing Club when they took the decision to send this crew out on the river in the first place?
An Environment Agency representative I spoke to, who did not want to be named, was at a loss to explain it.
“The red boards were out on the locks stating clearly that the river stream was very strong and advising everybody not to go on the water,” he said. “And yet the rowing club thought it was a good idea to send a young crew out on the river in those conditions – without even having a safety boat on the water with them… They want their heads examined.”
There were also warnings on the EA website.
The remains of the boat were eventually retrieved by the good people at Bridge Marine who had to use a former police boat at almost full power to counteract the speed of the stream to pull the rowing boat off the bridge support.
Hopefully, at the very least, they will have learned a valuable lesson.
I WENT to the London Boat Show last Friday and despite how much I was looking forward to it, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. The freezing weather didn’t help of course, which meant that any thought of going outside to look at the boats moored alongside the Excel in Docklands went out of the window. But even in the two gigantic exhibition halls, the atmosphere seemed very flat. There were fewer exhibitors than in previous years and most of those who were in attendance seemed aimed strictly at the top end of the market. Never mind, perhaps the Southampton Show in September will offer more variety.