Oxford

Oxford narrow boat to be winched from river

The Environment Agency and fire service personnel working to remove the boats Image copyright Environment Agency SE
Image caption Water has been pumped out of the partially sunken boat

Engineers are attempting to winch a stranded narrowboat out of the River Thames after several previous methods to remove it have failed.

The Environment Agency has tried pumping water and towing it with a tractor after it came adrift in Oxford.

It is one of two boats that came loose on Monday. It has crashed into Botley Bridge causing an obstruction.

Russell Robson, waterway operations team leader, said he was "optimistic" the latest attempt would work.

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Media captionThe narrow boats came loose from moorings on Monday

He said the river conditions meant it was too dangerous to put divers inside the 25-tonne boat boat.

"That has prevented us from using flotation to get the vessel higher in the water and pump it out.

"What we're looking to do is to attach steel to it and use a winch to try and winch it across the river and control it coming out via other winches attached to the land on either side.

"Our primary objective at the present time is to reopen the river Thames and get the vessel out of the water. [The boat] is someone's home."

The other boat that came loose has since been recovered.

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