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Nine rowers rescued from the River Itchen

Nine rowers, who were out on a training exercise, have been recovered from the River Itchen near Northam Bridge this evening after their rowing skiff capsized and they were thrown into the water.

The incident was coordinated by the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham, who requested the Calshot RNLI Lifeboat, Hillhead and Southampton Coastguard Rescue Teams to attend.

The lifeboat recovered eight people from the water and the club’s safety boat recovered a further one.

“All of the rowers were recovered to the shore by the inshore lifeboat and the safety boat . Although cold and wet, they are safe and well.”

– Maritime Operations Controller Ian Guy

Large pond created to reduce flooding in Winchester

A large 206,000m2 artificial pond is being created to contain flood waters and help Winchester cope with the exceptional quantities of water flowing down the River Itchen into the city.

60 one-tonne sandbags are being used to create the large retaining pond and to divert flood water from the river into this new storage area.

This engineering feat between the M3 and Easton works by storing flood water which will help reduce river levels and slow down the flow of water.

More rainfall is expected and groundwater is expected to continue rising for the foreseeable few days. Groundwater levels are currently higher than they were in the 2000/2001 event – and rising.”

– Mike O’Neil of the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency will be monitoring levels closely to ensure there is no increased flood risk to residents in the Easton area.


One-tonne sandbags lowered into River Itchen

The sandbags will stem the flow of the River Itchen Credit: ITV News Meridian

Cranes were used to place huge sandbags weighing one tonne each into the River Itchen through Winchester tonight, to restrict its flow and slow the water. It's the second phase of an operation to prevent the city from flooding.

Sandbags weighing a tonne each are lowered into the River Itchen Credit: ITV News Meridian
The sandbags are carefully positioned to stem the flow of the reiver Credit: ITV News Meridian

Artificial pond being built to prevent Winchester flooding

Crews are creating an artificial pond to divert excess river water away from Winchester

The Environment Agency is building an artificial pond to help Winchester cope with the exceptionally high levels of water flowing along the River Itchen and into the city.

Crews are using sixty sandbags, each weighing one tonne, to create the holding area which should divert and store flood water away from the city.

The artificial pond should measure 206,000m2 when it is completed Credit: Environment Agency

The pond is being built between the M3 and Easton, upstream of Winchester. By diverting and storing excess water, it should allow rising ground water and water from other streams to drain into the river.

Flood barriers have been put in place at St Bede's School

The artificial pond is being created in partnership with Hampshire County Council which has made the land available, and the Highways Agency which closed lanes on the M3 to allow a crane to lower the sandbags.

The Environment Agency has said it will be monitoring waters levels closely to ensure there is no increased flood risk to residents in the Easton area.