By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services
Rangers have been involved in several incidents over the past few weeks with boats which had either significantly outstayed their moorings, gone adrift, run aground, had too many passengers or were subject to a surveillance operation after the hirer stated he was deliberately going to ignore the closed season in order to fish.
In one drama a hirer was lucky to miss all the underground stakes when, moving out of the channel on Breydon, he ran right through the Dickey Works before going aground. Another hire cruiser had a lucky near miss when a scaffold fitting fell from Vauxhall bridge as it was passing underneath.
One call to control came from a boater who, while anchored near Geldeston one night, had his craft dragged along by the suction effect of an unregistered cruiser going at about 25 to 30 knots with the wash coming over his boat and up the bank. Investigations are ongoing.
Another report was about a man who fell in from his boat and hurt himself at Polkeys Mill. He was rescued by two of the maintenance team working nearby before travelling to Norwich to get A&E treatment.
A family asleep on a hire cruiser moored at Norwich had a rude awakening when a youth jumped on their boat at 3am. The boy ran away but was later found in the water and police rescued him.
A crew caused havoc in Norwich when trying to navigate the river while hanging from the bridge as the boat passed under, hitting our moored dory and other boats along the way and breaking the rudder on their hired craft. They refused to stop on our orders but were found and evicted the following morning.
A calf was reported as possibly making its way ashore on the wrong side of the river after taking a swim at Beccles but when our ranger found two errant calves there they dutifully ran for their mothers.
One ranger helped police deal with youngsters when he snapped them drawing graffiti on the wall under the bridge at Granary Staithe. The picture was clear enough for a Broadsbeat officer to identify them and have a chat with them and their parents.