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Broads Authority attempts to trace owner of fire damaged boat

PUBLISHED: 08:35 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 16 January 2018

A wrecked boat is recovered from the River Wensum. Picture: Broads Authority

A wrecked boat is recovered from the River Wensum. Picture: Broads Authority

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An abandoned boat that caught fire near Whitlingham Broad on the River Yare has been recovered by the Broads Authority.

Firefighters battle a blaze on a boat on the River Yare near Whitlingham Broad. Picture: ANDREW STONEFirefighters battle a blaze on a boat on the River Yare near Whitlingham Broad. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Officers are now trying to trace the owner of the concrete hulled vessel.

A Broads Authority spokesman said they had been alerted to the fire by the Humber Coastguard.

“They reported that the fire brigade had dealt with a boat fire on a floating/unsecured vessel (hull only) near Whitlingham.

“We were not required to attend at that time (but) Broads Authority Rangers located the vessel which had sunk.

“Rangers managed to raise the vessel and it has been recovered to our dockyard facility where it was removed from the water.

“We are now looking at identifying the vessel and contacting the owner.”

It remains unclear as to how the fire started.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service received a call to attend the scene just before 10pm on January 9.

Firefighters initially struggled to extinguish the flames as the boat was on the far bank and water from their hoses only just reached across the river.

An inflatable boat was launched with three crew and after carrying out an inspection, a hose was taken across the river and the fire extinguished.

The Broads Authority said investigations were on-going.

All abandoned and sunken vessels are reported to the authority’s Navigation Committee.

“We have a number to deal with each year and most are raised quickly,” said the spokeswoman.

“It is the responsibility of the owner to raise the vessel, however the authority has the powers to remove vessels and recharge the costs where this is necessary.”

The spokeswoman said there were currently two sunken vessels on the Broads.

One is a sunken cruiser on the River Yare, which is not affecting navigation, and the other, also a sunken cruiser, in Oulton Broad.

“One we are working with the owner over recovering,” she said. “The second vessel has been sunk at its mooring for many years and, as it poses no pollution threat and is not a hazard to navigation, has been left for the owner to deal with.

“We urge people to contact Broads Control if they see a vessel they think may be sinking so we can follow this up.”

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