rcr warns of perils of cheap boat insurance

rcr warns of the perils of cheap third party boat insurance

RCR warns of the perils of cheap third-party insurance

River Canal Rescue is warning boat owners about the perils of buying third-party insurance on price alone after finding some insurers will not pay out if a boat sinks.

The breakdown and assistance firm estimates around four out of 10 sunken boat claims are being rejected and says it’s due to a lack of definition in the policy small print, misleading wording referring to ‘wreck removal’ rather than ‘salvage ’, exclusions for salvage cover and salvage costs being rejected unless the peril is covered.

RCR managing director, Stephanie Horton, believes ‘low cost’ insurers are selling policies that are neither fair nor transparent, and opines they’re likely to break Financial Conduct Authority guidelines. “We’re not insurance experts, but we have many years of experience and some of the clauses and reasons used to reject claims are not made clear at the outset. In many cases the small print is shocking and full of ambiguities, meaning people don’t know what they’re covered for when buying the policy.

“The definition of ‘wreck’ for example, varies between companies and while we regularly undertake salvage for customers under this clause, an insurer recently rejected a salvage claim stating ‘wreck removal was for vessels that had broken up and required disposal’.

“The most important reason for third-party cover is it’s required when mooring in a marina/boat yard. Should the vessel sink, insurance is in place to cover the refloat. When buying cover, the assumption is a refloat is included, however I know of one insurer offering two third-party policies – one with salvage and one without. So unless you look at both policies in detail, and know what you’re looking for, you could end up with sub-standard cover.”

RCR is authorised to handle claims for most of the UK’s leading boat insurers and has in the past reminded boaters about the importance of understanding what they’re covered for in their policies.

Stephanie continues: “Those with a basic third-party liability policy could face crippling costs if a major incident occurs as it will only cover the cost of a claim against you if you hit another boat, cause damage to someone else’s property or injure someone. And while the majority of third-party policies automatically include the raising, attempted raising, removing or destroying the wreck of your boat as standard, not all do.

“These costs will only be met if the vessel’s causing an obstruction to navigation or potential damage to a third-party property. And with sinking and under-water damage the biggest risks on the inland waterways, prudent boaters should ensure they’re covered for this, as well as personal accident and medical expenses. ”

Stephanie concludes: “When it comes to paying recovery costs, some insurers may only do this once the cause of the sinking is identified. To assess the claim, they’ll want a clear understanding of what happened, before deciding to accept or reject it. If a sinking’s due to poor winterisation, a lack of maintenance or a failure to check when the river/canal is in flood, the claim may be rejected, unless there’s clear evidence the incident could not have been prevented. In contrast, some insurers cover salvage under the third-party agreement as standard, no matter what the cause.

“It’s important to check your policy meets your exact needs, pay close attention to third- party liability sections and ask about exclusions and how a potential claim will be handled. Is there a 24/7 claims hotline, are their assessors approved inland waterway repairers and if so, who and where are they? How a claim is handled should take equal priority alongside cost and cover options.

“Cheapest is not always best; if in doubt, consider an ‘all-risks’ policy or swap insurers.”

To find out more about River Canal Rescue, follow the team on Facebook, visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk email enquiries@rivercanalrescue.co.uk or call 01785 785680.


boating community supports vets afloat

boating community supports forces vets afloat  

Inland waterway businesses and boat owners are coming together to help the newly-established Forces Vets Afloat Project restore a boat so it can be used and enjoyed by British forces veterans.

Andy Flint - vets afloatFounder and boat owner Andy Flint set up the Project in July 2021, and with the support of River Canal Rescue, Ballinger Towage Services, Redhill Marina and volunteers, is on track to send its first boat to the Veterans Support Association (VSA).

The project began when Andy, a member of the abandoned boats group on Facebook, witnessed people arguing over rights of ownership and how to create the highest profit for the least investment. He posted a suggestion that rather than haggle over who could make the most from the boat, why not give it to a more deserving cause.

His feedback received 100+ likes and comments, and the consensus was to support ex-forces personnel. From there things snowballed; a member of the military, Lizzie Lane, offered to set up the Forces Vets Afloat Project on Facebook and within 24 hours it received 15,000 views.

vets afloat Tushka HortonRCR’s rescue team co-ordinator, Tushka Horton, also messaged Andy, offering assistance and signposting him to Redhill Marina in Nottingham. As RCR takes its abandoned vessels there, she thought it would be a good place to source and restore a boat.

By day three, the site had 50,000 views and Andy was approached by Fran Vaughan, who offered to donate her parents’ 40ft narrowboat, Spencer’s Revenge. Her father Frank, had passed away, and the boat, moored at a marina on the Macclesfield Canal, needed some tlc.

The same day, ex-forces veteran Pete Ballinger messaged Andy volunteering his towing services. With help from Tushka and other volunteers, Pete travelled from Chepstow to Cheshire to pick up the boat and deliver it to the Marina on the River Soar.

Spencer's Revenge on its way to Redhill MarinaTushka comments: “I was thrilled to be able to steer the boat and help with the lock at Great Haywood. All of us are so proud to be involved in this Project.”

Graham Smeeton from Redhill Marina agrees: “When Tushka asked if we could provide a base for the Project’s donated boats, we were more than happy to help. All of us here, including marina owner Richard Morley, are proud to support those who have served our country.”

Spencer’s Revenge has been re-named Aurora and once restored, it will become a floating community hub for the VSA, supporting people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

John Joyce and VeteransVSA founder John Joyce welcomes this new initiative, describing it as ‘the biggest new therapy’ for veterans: “In July, nine veterans went on a River Thames boat trip and we all found it so relaxing. I knew then I had to find a boat and soon after Andy contacted me. Fate certainly played a part!”

Fate appears to have been present since the start of the project. Andy lives close to Redhill Marina and Fran says the timing of her father’s passing is ‘too perfect to be a coincidence’. Both of Fran’s parents were in the military and having been left with a boat that needed work, she came across Andy’s donation request.

'Canute' donated by Keith ProsserA second boat, a fibreglass Viking 23 moored on the Coventry canal, was donated by Keith Prosser in October, and in another quirk of fate, the inheritance of a 24ft sailboat from an unknown benefactor, influenced his decision. “I was given a boat by someone I didn’t know, so felt it only right to support the project and give ‘Canute’ to a veteran I don’t know.”

Andy continues: “The whole project is about utilising the skills and knowledge of businesses, boat owners, volunteers and the VSA, so we get boats to people who will really benefit from them.”

Redhill Marina

RCR is providing one year’s free membership for all boats donated, but the project also requires more business support and volunteers.

To find out more and make a donation, visit forces vets afloat website and click on more/want to help, send a message via Forces Vets Afloat on Facebook or WhatsApp, email or call 07956 082162.

chilligibbon’s stringed things

featured roving canal trader

Chris Hicks - chilligibbon's stringed things

We have been trading from the canal now for 5 years, albeit the last couple of years have  been very quiet on the festival front! Karen, Ozzy dog and myself have been living aboard now for about 7 years, quickly progressing from our first small leisure boat to a 57ft liveaboard within about 18 months, having fallen in love with the lifestyle, surroundings and characters on the cut.

I am a keen amateur musician and have played bass guitar in a few local bands during my younger years but now am firmly set on the ukulele and enjoy playing with a ukulele group. Also we have many an impromptu jam session on the towpath or in the canalside pubs!

I had a 3 string guitar a few years ago that someone had made from an old whiskey tin, after a while I took it apart to make a few changes to it. This progressed to me doing some investigating into the history of cigar box guitars and then moving on to making myself a guitar from scratch from an old wooden cigar box. This turned out well, so I made another one, and another one!

Chris Hicks Chilligibbon

At this point I had a couple of friends on the canal asking if I would make them a guitar, so I did and one thing led to another and we ended up becoming roving traders so we could sell as and when we got the chance to travel and attend small Canal based festivals.

Initially I was making the instruments on the towpath with a few tools when the weather allowed, now I have an 8 x 6 shed on our mooring so have a little more comfort and room for a few more tools!

Every instrument looks and sounds different depending on the box or tin that you use, I started by searching eBay and junk shops and experimenting with anything that looked like it might work, now I get people giving me tins and boxes so have a good selection at the moment.

Once I had sussed the guitars, I started to make ukuleles as they are very popular at the moment. Both the guitars and ukuleles are fairly compact so make good boat instruments without taking up too much room.

I tune my guitars to an open chord which means you can play with just one finger across all 3 strings on any fret and make a chord so it is easy to get a tune quickly for beginners but is also versatile enough for a more established player to use more complicated chords or play with a slide for a real bluesy feel.

I build instruments for stock and also will take commissions if a customer has a suitable box or tin that they would like converting.

Alongside the instruments, Karen makes crochet blankets, buntings, cushion covers and mushroom vent covers and also always has a good selection of her handmade rag rugs available when we are trading on the towpath or online.

Recently she has made matching blankets and cushions to finish off the décor in an historic back cabin and can make to order if you have something specific in mind.

chilligibbon crochet rug

chilligibbon crocheted blanket

chilligibbon rag rug

Chris Hicks Chilligibbon

How much fun can you have with an old box? Chris Hicks, trading as chilligibbon's stringed things, is the maker of Cigar Box and vintage tin guitars, ukuleles and other musical instruments. 'From First aid to Glenfiddich to Jacobs Crackers, we can make any tin of the right size into a great instrument.'

Visit Chris & Karen's Etsy shop, take a look at their website and follow them on Facebook.

madness of moorings

the madness of moorings - are you paying too much?

the barge association mooring survey

Why do boat owners decide to live “afloat”? Are the reasons changing? If affordability was important then how do you know what it’s going to cost? Has the pandemic made it more difficult to pay for where you and your boat live? Can you help all UK liveaboards achieve the best deal for each of us?

There’s no doubt that moving onto the water has become not just a lifestyle choice but, for some, a lifeline when housing costs become too much to bear. City dwellers faced with impossible rents and mortgage payments have looked to the canals and rivers as a seductive alternative but are they? For many, this means “continuous cruising” with no fixed mooring just to avoid the fees. For others who want or need a more settled life, it’s a hunt for an affordable mooring.

But have those calculations changed during the pandemic? Some who live in cities have enjoyed the enviable position of being moored in managed marinas with national commercial landlords or Trusts who claim charitable status. Others have to negotiate their way (and their bank balance) through the fog of privately or corporately-owned moorings where you have to pay what you’re asked with no idea if this is a good deal or a rip-off.

And the bigger you are, the more difficult and expensive it gets. To find out just how difficult, DBA - The Barge Association, which represents not only barges and large broad beam boats but has members with craft of all sizes, is running a national survey, comparing mortgage figures & bricks-&-mortar rentals with mooring fees.  The equations, particularly for London & the Home Counties are already quite startling and the survey now urgently needs more information from all areas of the UK in order to complete a comprehensive database to aid owners in their hunt for moorings and in negotiating new or renewal terms.

Already it is clear that for some, monthly mooring fees for vessels are between 50% & 100% more than comparable apartment rental costs, and almost exactly the same costs as 20 year mortgages And the fundamental difference is that after every payment, every year, the vessel owner is left with nothing and the building buyer is a year nearer to owning the property.  For example, In East London, a modest two bedroom flat will attract a rent of between £12,000 & £15,500 per year and a mortgage for such a property may be between £1,000 & £2,700 per month. Meanwhile, marinas & docks in the borough of Tower Hamlets will be costing liveaboards in the region of £420-£640 per week!

The strong impression is that mooring owners are able to defy the laws of economics to charge more and more per year whilst delivering less and less value. Meanwhile, the renter or purchaser gets less and less for their hard-earned salary. For many, the challenge of continuous cruising is too much. Experienced boaters often say it requires similar time and effort to a part-time job on top of what you do to earn money just to service the boat plus, for those who work from home, which is hugely attractive to a boating lifestyle, the need for reliable power and wifi is a significant driver for needing a permanent mooring alongside the option to cruise when you can.

So, for those walking past a barge owner, the universal question is no longer; “Is it cold in winter?” but “Are your economics on thin ice?” You can help NOW by contributing to the DBA Mooring Survey for wherever your boat is moored, whatever its size and whatever you do with it.

The survey is open NOW

Please help us all find out what is going on, create a national database which will be available  to the public and then please use it to help you!

For further enquiries please contact:

Mike Gibbons, Chair DBA - The Barge Association

Email or telephone 07885 239643


the malt shovel in shardlow

pub of the season - spring 2020

the malt shovel, shardlow

Ksenia and Lena who run the malt shovel in shardlowThe Malt Shovel in Shardlow was built in 1799 and is set by the side of the Trent and Mersey canal. The free house pub has been run by long time friends Ksenia and Lena since 2016.

The pub has a main area, a snug and a lower snug, each area set with gaming tables which were specially made for the pub - to keep everyone entertained We have scrabble, backgammon, and monopoly to name a few, with all the game pieces available from the bar.

game boards inside Malt Shovel in ShardlowThe Malt Shovel retains many of its original features such as the beams and the tiled floors adding character to this charming pub. In the warm weather it’s perfect for sitting outside and watching canal boats and cruisers and the rest of the world go by.

The pub has a great range of real ales, lagers, ciders plus wines and spirits, but it's best known for the well kept Pedigree. They also do a lovely cream tea with freshly baked scones and cakes.

Food is also served at the Malt Shovel, a fantastic breakfast from 10am everyday and then the lunchtime menu with home cooked dishes and locally sourced produce from 12noon, with Sundays serving great home cooked Roasts. Thursday Evenings from 5pm-9pm is the ever popular Thai night, where the Thai chef, Tik , cooks each dish to order from Pad Thai to Beef Massaman; a very popular night and booking is advisable. Friday night is fish and chip night with their own Beer Battered Haddock.

For the many boaters that moor up by the canal side next to the Malt Shovel, Ksenia and Lena can also provide fresh produce if required - 'boaters baskets’ - breakfast basket, ploughman’s basket - very handy if you want to stock up before moving on.

Opening times : Sun - Thur 10am-11pm, Fri & Sat 10am- midnight
Food serving times: Breakfast - 10am - 11.45am daily, Lunch 12pm - 2.30pm Mon-Fri and until 3pm at weekends. Thai Night - Thursday 5pm - 9pm. Fish & Chips - Friday 5 - 8pm.

Ksenia and Lena welcome you to the Malt Shovel in Shardlow.

You may contact them by phone on
01332 792066
Email them at info@maltshovelshardlow.co.uk
or visit their website: 

the folly inn, napton

pub of the season - autumn 2021

the folly inn, napton

There is an introduction on the Folly website which says it all:

"There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn." So said Dr Samuel Johnson in 1776 and 245 years later this still rings true. 

So what do we think makes a ‘good tavern or inn’, in other words ‘a real pub’? It's an essential part of the community; it's where friends choose to meet and relax; where you can choose to enjoy either a quiet drink or have fun with your friends; where regulars and newcomers are given an equally warm welcome, and where you can always rely on good beer, wines, spirits and excellent wholesome food.

That's why we describe the Folly at Napton as a real pub.

The Pub

the folly at naptonThe Folly at Napton must be one of the most famous pubs on the cut.

On the banks of the Oxford Canal, the pub is set well back from the waterside and yet remains one of the most favoured stopping off places for boaters.

The pub certainly has a reputation for good food, real ale, fine wines and such like. And the interior of the pub is cosy, with roaring fires and absolutely choc a block full of curios - walls smothered with pictures, ceilings strung with instruments, helmets, antiques. It seems as though the tables are fitted in almost as an afterthought.

mark, landlord of the Folly at NaptonBut perhaps one of the major attractions is the dominant presence of the landlord, Mark. With his handlebar moustache, waistcoats, neckerchief and welcoming smile, he must be one of the true characters of the cut.

Mark is always ready to welcome friends and strangers alike, and perhaps tell a few jokes or even perform a few magic tricks. He is a born entertainer and will not hesitate to get up and sing with a band on open mic night.

Mark is very ably supported by his partner Caroline who provides the artistic touch and is certainly responsible for the hand written notice boards and the mass of potted plants.

The Marquees

Many boaters will remember the 'field' outside the pub, where at one time a stage was erected to enable live music to be performed. Well that's gone. And in it's place, what can only be described as a floral village of cosy marquees. Mark and Caroline have not been idle during the Covid lockdowns.

cosy seating areas at the Folly in Napton

Caroline explained that due to Covid restrictions, they had to lose half of the tables in the pub itself. As the rooms are small anyway, this meant that they could hardly fit in enough people to make opening worthwhile. So they began to create an outdoor/indoor eating area which would enable them to boost customer numbers, at least during the warmer months.

Somehow they have managed to include a long bar, plus a large function room at the back which is used on Wednesday nights at the moment for an Open Mic and Ukulele Night. It must be through the artistic skills of Caroline and her ability with potted plants that the marquees do not look or feel like marquees, but instead provide cosy and intimate spaces.

the Folly at Napton

open mic night at The Folly, Napton

The Potting Shed

Mark and Caroline's ideas did not end with the village of Marquees. No - they have built an enormous, balconied shed - which looks stunning from both outside and inside.

Caroline told me that the idea behind the Potting Shed was to create an indoor area which could be used in any season as a supplement to the seating within the pub - more or less compensating fully for the reduced seating allowed in the pub itself.

They could, of course, have put in a bar and a few tables. But we know already that that is not how Mark and Caroline like to do things. The result is astonishingly beautiful, with the themed creation of areas for pots, plants, garden tools, and carefully thought out seating areas.

the folly at napton

Not only has the Potting Shed created another beautiful area in which to eat or drink, but the overall effect is that the combination of the garden area, marquees and the Potting Shed have given a unity to the area. Wherever you sit, you are part of what is going on, and there is a continual buzz of voices, all adding to an incredible atmosphere.


The pub itself is closed for now, because everyone is choosing to enjoy the new outdoor area. But it mustn't be forgotten, and will undoubtedly come into its own again at Christmas, when Mark and Caroline will be offering great food in an unrivalled festive setting.

Mark and Caroline will always hold a welcome for you at the Folly Pub, Napton. There are plenty of moorings nearby, and a very ample carpark if you are visiting from further afield. You can expect the very best in food, drink, company and live entertainment.

We are very glad that we called in to the Folly once again, and are amazed at how much it has grown (grown, not changed) since we were last here. We can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone - definitely one of our very favourite pubs of all time!

You may contact them by phone on 01926 815185
Email them, follow them on Facebook, or visit their website

body worn cameras on towpaths

body worn cameras on towpaths

The Canal & River Trust is to commence the use of body worn cameras for its customer service employees whose role includes day-to-day interaction with those on the towpath.  The cameras will initially be used daily by its boat licence customer support team in the Trust’s London & South East region in response to increased concerns about the potential for confrontation, abuse or harm whilst conducting their work.

Body worn cameras have been used in specific instances by the Trust’s boat licence customer support teams across the network since 2019.  The development will now see cameras issued as standard for day-to-day duties, including interacting with towpath visitors, assisting boaters, and when issuing notices or other written communications.

Body worn cameras have become increasingly familiar in other areas of society, for example on trains, hospitals and retail settings.  Many frontline emergency services deploy them across their workforce in response to an increase in threatening and abusive behavior.

Many Trust colleagues frequently work alone on the towpath so, alongside other procedures, the body worn cameras will be a tool to support them while they go about their daily jobs.  The use of body worn cameras will provide legally admissible evidence if the Trust needs to act against those who abuse or threaten colleagues or customers.

Whilst instances of poor behaviour are rare, like other areas of society it is on the increase and the Trust will not tolerate assaults on employees, volunteers or contractors and other customers.  Offenders will be dealt with robustly and the Trust will seek to bring criminal proceedings against those responsible where necessary.

The use of body worn cameras will get underway later in September with a potential roll-out elsewhere on the network in due course.

stephanie horton

featured author - autumn 2021

stephanie horton, md river canal rescue

“I wrote Narrow Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair to help boat owners keep their engines operational and moving. This single reference tool combines RCR’s practical advice with our engineers’ specialist knowledge, who through years of experience have unrivalled skills and repair techniques. Hopefully readers will agree the content and photos simplify things and help them keep their boats in a good condition.”

about me

Stephanie Horton, managing director RCR

I’ve always been interested in engineering and as a child, I spent time in my grandfather’s garage and shed, tinkering with equipment and asking questions about how and why things work. He was a ship’s engineer and my mother was equally very practical, so you could say it was in my genes.

After completing a degree in Electro Mechanical Power Engineering, I worked as an applications engineer for a power company in Stafford. I was also a power quality manager and power consultant, travelling the world dealing with power quality issues.

It was my husband Trevor (RCR ceo) who diverted my attention to boats. He was a diagnostic engineer working on the channel tunnel and had a passion for boats. Although he could fix any problems that arose, we realised this did not apply to everyone, so we decided to launch River Canal Rescue.

We opened for business in January 2001 and the rest as they say is history. Today RCR is the UK’s largest national breakdown and recovery service for boaters using the inland waterway system. Our 40-strong team operates on a 24/7 basis, covers a network of some 3,600 miles and responds to an average of 4000 general call-outs and 250 major incidents a year.

I fell in love with Pembrokeshire a few years ago and now split my time between living on a boat with Trevor in west Wales and living on land, close to RCR’s Stafford HQ, helping run the family business.

about the book

Narrow Boat Engine

With a focus on diesel engines and their arrangements, Narrow Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair  explains the theory behind the boat’s main systems – including propulsion, cooling and electrics - and gives instructions on how to identify key components, how to locate faults and where possible, how to fix them.

There are tips on everyday engine maintenance and how to complete a service and all instructions are accompanied by over 260 colour step-by-step photographs and 60 technical diagrams.

The book is well laid-out, easy to understand with little technical jargon and the ‘how to’ photos, showing basic maintenance, enable readers to recognise parts relating to their engines.

Reader feedback includes:

‘the book enables us to learn how to do things at our own pace’,

it ‘eases some of the dread associated with taking on a new boat, especially as we are keen to keep it in good condition, inside and out’

and ‘a very useful guide to have around’.

You can buy Stephanie’s book from River Canal Rescue here, discounted to £17 including postage & packaging, Amazon and bookshops.


eyes that save lives

the MNA Boat Club’s waterwatch initiative

Eyes That Save Lives

Some ten years ago the MNA Boat Club launched a maritime safety & surveillance scheme whereby members undertook to act as "watchkeepers afloat” to "Spot, Plot, Report and Record" any incidents, potential incidents or hazards whenever they took their boats out thereby acting in a very similar manner to that undertaken by the National Coastwatch Institution's (NCI) watchkeepers working ashore from their look-outs around the coast. Known as “SeaVue” the scheme had the support of the MCA and the RNLI but it operated almost exclusively only around the coastal waters of the UK and hardly extended inland at all,

Around the same time the RNLI launched their “Respect the Water” campaign to reduce the number (circa 200+) of accidental drownings around the coast of the UK by 50% by 2024 but once again the emphasis was on “the coast” where the RNLI maintains Lifeboat Stations rather than on inland waterways where some 70% of accidental drownings actually occur!

So three years ago the MNA Boat Club (MNABC) established an “operational partnership” with the RNLI for MNABC members to promote the Respect the Water campaign and extend the coverage of that initiative to include inland waterways, and at the same time the MNABC changed the name of  their scheme from SeaVue to the now more appropriate title of  “WaterWatch”.

Although an integral part of the Merchant Navy Association national charity with its 2,000 plus members, The MNA Boat Club is a relatively small organisation with only some 220 members so the idea that Club members alone could provide a nationwide surveillance service was essentially unrealistic and it was therefore  agreed that we would start by operating a “pilot scheme” in just one of our Boat Club regions, namely East Anglia where we already enjoyed a very good relationship as an “Affiliated Club member of  the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA)

So we approached the NSBA to see if they might be interested in some kind of collaboration  with the MNA Boat Club to promote the WaterWatch Scheme in East Anglia, and in particular on The Broads, and to our delight they responded to that idea enthusiastically with the suggestion of a “partnership”  between the MNABC and the  NSBA to promote and operate WaterWatch on The Broads; this is now  firmly established with a representative of the NSBA co-opted  as a flag officer of the MNA Boat Club and a representative of the MNA Boat Club now as an elected member of the NSBA General Purposes committee.

MNABC/NSBA Partnership Arrangement

waterwatch eyes that save lives

Members of the MNA Boat Club and individual members of the NSBA who participate in the scheme are known as “WaterWatch Crew Members”.  They are briefed to act as the “eyes and ears” for the emergency services and the Broads Authority whenever they take to the water to:

  • SPOT any craft or persons in difficulty, or any actual or potential hazards
  • PLOT the relevant position
  • REPORT the facts to HM Coastguard and/or the Broads Authority
  • RECORD the incident by completing a WaterWatch Incident Report Form which is sent both to the Boat Club and to the NSBA in order to enable them both to monitor incidents and hazards and follow up developments and corrective actions.

The National Water Safety Forum (NWSF)

In March 2021 the MNA Boat Club’s WaterWatch Scheme became a member of the National Water Safety Forum  which is a UK-focused, voluntary network, working together in order to reduce water-related deaths and associated harm.

The NWSF was established in 2004 following a Government review into water safety. It sought to bring together a number of pre-existing national groups with the ambition of creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for the prevention of drowning and water safety harm in the UK, recognising the broad range of existing stakeholder groups, their respective contributions, and their own brands and values, often towards charitable objectives. Members include the MCA, RNLI, RLSS, The Broads Authority, the Environment Agency etc. etc.,

Beyond our “pilot scheme” on The Broads

The success of our joint venture with the NSBA now begs the question “could we expand our WaterWatch initiative to more inland waterways through collaboration with other potential partners? “

So if any boating associations, owners clubs  or other interested boating organisations  around the UK believe that this initiative by the MNA Boat Club may deserve your organisation’s support as a potential partner I’d be delighted to hear from you!

Clive Edwards, Commodore, Merchant Navy Association Boat Club  

water pollution award for rcr

water pollution award for river canal rescue's bilgeaway filter

River Canal Rescue has won the British Safety Industry Federation’s Water Pollution Award for its Bilgeaway filter.

rcr bilgeaway award The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) is the UK’s leading trade body for the safety sector and its annual Safety & Health Excellence Awards cover four categories; product innovation, safety solutions, customer service and water pollution prevention (the latter added in 2020).

In its entry, River Canal Rescue (RCR) explained how Bilgeaway – the world’s first environmentally-friendly bilge discharge filter – was developed to address a well-known pollution problem.

river canal rescue bilgeaway filter

Launched in January 2019, Bilgeaway traps contaminants before they’re discharged overboard by automatic bilge pumps, rendering the filter’s contents non-reactive so they can be safely disposed of, instead of going to landfill.

Over 80 entries were submitted overall, including 10 for the Water Pollution Award, which is supported by the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales.   Judges were looking for businesses that make efforts to protect the environment and ensure all water pollution risks are managed in an efficient and effective way.

river canal rescue bilgeaway awardBSIF marketing manager, Ian Crellin, announced the winners at the end of April: “These Awards recognise the excellent work that goes on within the safety industry; we celebrate the constant innovation, expert knowledge and quality service that goes on every day - all with a goal of keeping people safe.”

RCR managing director, Stephanie Horton, comments: “It’s great to achieve this level of recognition from the BSIF - we will continue to develop solutions and lobby others to keep our waterways and coastal waters free from pollution.”

Find out more at www.bilgeaway.co.uk   and www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk or follow the team on Facebook.