Man rescued from sinking boat on River Great Ouse

Submerged narrow boat in the River Great Ouse. Image: Ian Williams

Fire crews from Bedford rescued a man from his sinking boat on the River Great Ouse earlier this month, but the boat remains almost completely submerged.

Following emails from concerned readers who had spotted the sunken boat, the Bedford Independent contacted Bedfordshire Police, Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services to confirm they were aware of the incident and that no one was in danger.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue issued the following statement: “On 4 November 2023, fire crews from Bedford who are trained in water rescue, alongside a crew from Sandy, rescued a gentleman from a long boat on the Great Ouse which had become stuck and was taking on water.

“Very shortly after the gentleman was rescued using a rescue sled, the boat completely submerged.”

We hope that this reassures residents who have been in touch having seen the remains of the boat.

Beds Fire and Rescue stated that they did not have responsibility for removing the boat from the river.

“After discussions with the Environment Agency and National Waterways, it was confirmed that it would be down to the boat’s owner and their insurance to recover the boat,” a spokesperson said.

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