Environment Agency crane due to lift damaged boats out of River Avon

Work is underway at Twerton for the arrival of the crane tomorrow at Weston Lock to lift and inspect boats. Credit: ITV News West Country

A crane is due to arrive outside Bath tomorrow (28 September) to lift dozens of boats out of the river for inspection.

Around 50 boats sank after a suspected broken sluice gate at Twerton allowed the water level to drop suddenly.

People who lived on houseboats lost their home and possessions when the water drained so rapidly that they caught on sandbanks and capsized before they could be moved.

The Environment Agency says it will take a few hours to inspect the damage to each boat.

James only managed to rescue his dogs and his laptop as his narrowboat sank Credit: ITV News West Country

When narrowboat owner James Stewart-Wigley escaped his boat before it went underwater he told ITV News "I'm just in pieces. This is my home for me and my two rescue dogs.

"This is everything I own and I was struggling anyway because of lockdown. I haven't had any work and now this.

"It's my home. I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know where to start."

This is not the first time that the sluice gate has jammed.

A similar failure in October 2019 saw a number of boats stranded as well.

The canal towpath, between the Locksbrook Inn and the west of Lock House will remain closed for around 4 weeks. Credit: Environment Agency South West

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