Tuesday, 22 October 2019

A collision in the night ...

... at 11:45 on Sunday night ... 
an almighty crash that woke us up ... an engine revving like something demented ... a scrape of metal against metal ... the engine still screaming ... and another almighty bang ...

We both sat up obviously startled ... what the heck? ...

George quickly got up and went out into the bow where the first bang had come from and saw the stern of a boat, the engine of which was in very fast forward gear.  The steerer was attempting to pull in to moor in front of us (upstream).  The bow was against the wharf but the engine was no match for the strong stream and he couldn't get his stern in close enough to step off and rope up ... and even though he was in forward gear he was being washed back again towards Still Rockin's bow.  George saw the guy steering either drop or throw a torch quickly onto the wharf as he realised that he needed to move quick! 

George came back inside, pulled on some clothes and went through the boat to the stern and got off to see if there was anything at all he could do.  

The boat was still struggling against the flow to get alongside the wharf behind us now.  He had pointed the nose of his boat into the side and George was able to reach his bow rope and tie it off onto a mooring ring while the steerer was shouting to him to take his stern line.  George called out to him 'just a minute' as he couldn't leave the front until it was secure.  George went to the stern and the guy threw him ... what appeared to be a piece of string (??)  and tied it off while the other guy took the middle rope and passed that to George to tie off as it was 'a bit stronger than his stern rope'. 

The chap on the boat apologised for hitting us and George asked him what on earth he thought he was doing travelling when the river was on red boards ... in the dark!  He said that he didn't realise that and asked where he was!  George told him 'Goring' and he said 'is that like a big city?  Are there phone shops there because I've dropped mine in the bilge!"  George told him that is was a village with no phone shop but that there are trains from Goring to Reading.

This idiot was travelling on a boat with no lights, on a river on red boards, by torchlight ... unbelievable!  George thought that he had met him before.

The following morning (yesterday 21st) when we looked out of the window the scum coming down the river had piled up to above the ropes between Still Rockin' and the wharf ... passers-by were looking at it with disgust!  I went out and cleared it all away, washing down the boat and the wharf ...
and hour or so later it was all back again ... and so it went all day long!
The river had dropped about 6" overnight, yesterday it was about 2"  from the top here.
This is the boat that hit us ... note ... no lights and his bow fender is all over the place!
The boat's name is Capetown Rose which I recognised because when I'd first seen the boat a while ago I remember wondering if it was owned by a South African, and a little later was acknowledged by a black man.  If you enlarge the photo above you may be able to see the string from the stern to the middle mooring ring.

George went along later to check he was ok but although the rear doors were not padlocked and the galley window and hatch were wide open he got no response.
This is the damage done last night ...
on the offside of Still Rockin's stern.
There was also some of the other boat's paint on the offside of our bow but George thinks that will come right using T-cut ... some remedial paint work will be necessary once we're at our winter mooring.

A bit more excitement later ... we caught the train from Goring to Reading ... a real treat instead of a rickety noisy bus (even if there had been one!) We had lunch out and it was dark when we arrived back at Goring, and we'd had a good day.

Unbelievably at 9 pm we could hear a boat going past at very high revs ... guess what?    

Yes it was that idiot travelling upstream once again, on a river on red boards, with no lights ... I hope he gets wherever he's going safely without anymore mishaps ... especially ones which affect or put in danger other river users.

From just after 11 this morning, this reach between Whitchurch and Goring Locks, is no longer on red boards ... for some reason it didn't go from red (strong stream) to yellow (steam decreasing) as all the other reaches have, but directly to 'no stream warnings', which thinking back was exactly the same as when we left here last Monday the 14th when it went directly from no warnings to red boards.
The river has risen and dropped by 18" (46cm) in the last seven days ...
 the sun is shining ...
and it's warm ...
as we sit on the stern deck with coffee and cake in 27degrees centigrade!
 The boards here at Goring Lock are back to normal ...
as is the majority now of the River Thames ...
even Mapledurham to Caversham is on stream decreasing which I know will be good news for nb Oleana who are desperate to get off the Kennet and Avon Canal.

We shall stay here another 72-hours to allow the stream to slow down further before heading downstream again on Friday towards Hambleden Marina for the winter.

8 comments:

Andy said...

Some people have no sense and maybe no licence if he only cruises after dark.

Unknown said...

That's the conclusion we came to Andy, wondered if he was up to no good.

Pip and Mick said...

Wow! That sounds scary! Hopefully we'll manage to moor in a more controlled manner tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.

Mick
Nb Oleanna

Ps
Our ropes are 16mm!

Unknown said...

See you later today then Mick. I'll give you an update on the situation re mooring etc here when you ring me after coming through the railway bridge.
Carol

Dave said...

That boat came past Wallingford in the dark at a crawl going upstream Monday night! Wondered what an earth he was doing! He carried on past the moorings even though there was spcae so didn't get to talk to him.

Kath said...

That’s dreadful. Am I right in thinking that insurance is invalid if you travel on red boards? If, indeed, he had any insurance. Or licence for that matter, as Andy commented.
Kath (nb Herbie)

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Crikey what a shock! I am so relieved you are both okay and Still Rockin' is still in good nick. It seems as though one should be able to report this boat to the River Police (or are they just on the Tidal section through London?) as the owner is clearly a danger to other boaters.

NB Valerie was hit in broad daylight when we were moored just past the Simpson Road bridge hole at Fenny Stratford. it was an old bloke towing a dead boat with no one on the towed boat to steer it! Marilyn and David McDonald were aboard with friends. The towed boat slammed into our side and scraped a bit. It was a teeth rattling experience to say the least.

I'm glad you are enjoying a bit of Indian summer as we call it over here. Miss you both!

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Carol said...

Hi Jaq,

There is always one idiot about who doesn't care enough about how their behaviour affects others. I'm sure they will get their comeuppance eventually.

Our Indian summer appears to have ended although it's still quite mild, we've managed to get away from Goring this morning and are now moored once again at Beale Park in the rain!

Back to Hamblded on Wednesday for the winter.

Love and Palin hugs back at you, will write soon!

Carol.