Canal rescue for sunken barge

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A SALVAGE operation was launched to refloat a narrow boat which sank in Sheffield Canal.

The Ruby, a 40ft narrow boat used as boutique accommodation by the Houseboat Hotels group, was moored at Victoria Quays when a guest noticed a strange noise.

Houseboat Hotels proprietor Kathryn Marsh told The Star that, minutes later, the vessel was lying at the bottom of the canal.

She said: “The guest was settling in and went to make himself a cup of tea when he heard a sloshing noise coming from below and called me.

“I said it was quite normal for a little water to get into a narrow boat and advised him to switch on the bilge pump.

“But he called back a little later to say it was getting worse. So I jumped in the car with my daughter and we drove down to the Quays.

“By the time we arrived the aft deck was underwater. Within minutes the entire boat had gone and was at the bottom of the canal which is 18 feet deep. I couldn’t believe it.”

Once the craft is out of the water fully it will be inspected to see how water got in. “The boat was in very good order,” said Kathryn.

“Last year it was taken out for repairs and repainting so it’s a mystery how this happened.”

The guest got ashore safely.