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Stranded Oxford narrow boat lifted from Thames by crane

image captionThe Environment Agency used a winch attached to a crane to hoist the boat out of the water

A narrow boat stranded for four days after crashing in the River Thames has finally been hoisted out the water by a crane.

The Environment Agency pulled the 25-tonne boat out of the river after using a digger to clear its path.

The vessel, One Old Peculiar, was one of two boats that came loose on Monday and crashed into Botley Bridge.

The agency had previously tried pumping out water and towing it with a tractor without success.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said the barge was rescued by a "military specification" heavy vehicle recovery truck.

media captionJohn Simmonds said he was not sure whether he had valid insurance for the narrow boat
image captionThe Environment Agency unsuccessfully tried pumping water out of the boat and towing it with a tractor

Owner John Simmonds, 35, told the BBC he believes his home was deliberately untied, possibly because of "delinquency".

He said the boat was properly secured when he left it for 30 to 45 minutes to get some lunch, but had been unmoored when he returned.

Mr Simmonds, who works as a computer programmer, added: "I don't think it was personal, I don't have many enemies.

"Some people may not realise how these things can escalate very, very quickly."

image captionA digger created a channel so the boat can be winched out of the water

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