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Boat couple get that sinking feeling as their home goes under

PUBLISHED: 00:20 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:23 05 October 2010

Stricken vessel in Regent's Canal...

Stricken vessel in Regent's Canal...

A YOUNG couple lost all their possessions after their house boat-sank in the middle of the night. They returned to East London at 1am on Bank Holiday Monday after a night out to find their 12-tonne narrow boat submerged on the Regent’s Canal

By Jessica Mudditt

A YOUNG couple lost all their possessions after their house-boat sank in the middle of the night.

They returned to East London at 1am on Bank Holiday Monday after a night out to find their 12-tonne narrow boat submerged at its berth on the Regent’s Canal by Victoria Park.

Emergency fire-crews in East London arrived unable to save the two-berth vessel, the Benjamin Mark, from sinking.

“There was nothing we could do when we arrived,” said a senior fire-brigade officer.

“We sent six rescue teams when we got the 999 call in case anyone was trapped—but the couple were in no danger and were on the quayside.”

BILGE PUMP

There had previously been problems with water seepage when the bilge pump on board appears to have broken down on the narrow boat, according to one houseboat neighbour.

The pump was working when the couple went ashore at the Bonner Hall bridge in Bethnal Green for their night out.

But they got a shock when they returned to find their home under water.

“There had been a problem with water seepage,” said neighbour Nicholas Rose, 42, a psycho-therapist who moored his vessel alongside the night before. “But they were using the bilge pump and everything seemed okay. Their boat looked fine when I first arrived.”

GOOD NICK’

He added: “It’s unusual for a boat in such good nick to sink. I’ve never seen one sink.”

The mooring rope on Mr Rose’s own boat is all that’s stopping the stricken Benjamin Mark from rolling over.

Now the owner and the couple who have been renting the Benjamin Mark are hoping to get it refloated. The longer the water is left in the hull, the less chance there is of salvaging their home.

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