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Fears over sunken cruiser in Norwich river

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:08 02 July 2010

A sunken boat on the River Wensum, close to Fye Bridge.

A sunken boat on the River Wensum, close to Fye Bridge.

David Bale

Fears that a sunken motor cruiser was polluting parts of the River Wensum were allayed today by the Broads Authority, which manages the river.

Fears that a sunken motor cruiser was polluting parts of the River Wensum were allayed today by the Broads Authority, which manages the river.

The small vessel sank off Quayside, near Fye bridge, on Wednesday night and concerned residents claimed it was leaking oil and potentially harming wildlife.

But a spokeswoman for the Broads Authority said today that it was not leaking oil or causing any pollution to the river.

A spokeswoman said: “It sank on Wednesday night and we checked three times on Thursday and again today (Friday), and there's no oil and no pollution coming from the vessel. If there had been we would have 'boomed' the area off to stop it spreading.

“We contacted the owner to try and raise the boat and remove it, but I understand their efforts failed. If the owner of the boat cannot raise it, then we would do that and take the boat away.”

The authority has placed stakes in the river to alert other users that the sunken boat is below the waterline.

A woman, who lives in Quayside but did not wish to be named, said she was concerned about pollution on the river due to the boat sinking.

She said: “One of the small boats capsized and sunk. We don't know why or what caused it to sink, but it was out sailing the previous weekend.

“There is a family of mallard ducks which have just hatched 11 chicks. They are so cute, and so eager for life.

“We were worried that the sunken boat would send an oil slick along the river, which the swans, geese and the mallard ducks would have to swim through.”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said a business in a nearby street was recently investigated, after it was found to be pouring waste oil down a surface water drain.

This oil had made its way into the river but the spokeswoman said that the business, which she did not name, had now stopped the practice.

Do you know who owns the boat or have you got a story about river pollution? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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