River Canal Rescue (RCR) is urging boaters to pay more attention to vessel maintenance and safety following an increase in the number of call-outs for faults caused by what it describes as a general lack of maintenance.
In 2016, this amounted to 948 call-outs, in 2017 there were 1031 and in 2018 RCR had 1081 call-outs due to lack of maintenance and safety, together with continuing fires and CO poisoning incidents.
“Boaters who fail to maintain their vessels or pay attention to boat safety put themselves and others at risk,” said RCR operations director, Jay Forman.
He said, “With rental costs spiralling across the UK, boats are a cheap accommodation option and so are increasing in popularity. Yet we find many boaters unfamiliar with even basic engine workings and therefore unlikely to pay attention to maintenance.”
He added: “This can cause a problem if a vessel moves from its mooring, breaks down and obstructs the waterway.”
And he said RCR engineers frequently come across vessels with no smoke or CO alarms that have fire risks and ventilation issues.
“It’s frightening when you think of the hazards on boats such as diesel, oils and combustible materials. The most common fires are electrical, engine space and solid fuel related so it’s vital boat owners pay attention to these areas,” explained Jay.