Monday, July 29, 2013

Just a Horrendous day

We have just had the most horrendous day on Derwent6 and don't want another one. So don't read this blog if you are squeamish or get upset..

We had a bit of a lay in in the morning as Al had booked her Asda delivery. Matty had met up with Leo and they caught a frog and some tiddlers with the net..
At 9.30am we decided to go up the locks and the boat behind us said they would join us.. It was a couple in their seventies we think, and the help would be good.. We pulled into the lock and pulled Derwent6 over while the husband helped Al on the opposite gates.. His wife had just pulled alongside Derwent6 and the next thing Del heard was a thud.. (What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion). The husband had tripped on the lock bollards and come down on his shoulder and then rolled into the lock.. He had dropped ten feet and hit his forehead on the roof of his boat, unconscious he hit his head on the lock wall and rolled down to the gunwale near the stern deck of the boat.. Del could see his injuries and they weren't good.. As the weight of his body pushed the boat away from the wall he fell into the water, with his leg trapped on the stern deck. The first thought was to turn the engine off, as he was head first in the water. Del jumped across the boats and managed to grab his belt which was on the waters surface, but couldn't get his head out of the water.. Del then grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled, managing then to get his head out the water.. Grabbing him round the chest and locking his hands he pulled. The man then coughed and spluttered as Del gripped him under the arms, Del couldn't believe he was alive!!! After some calls for HELP! another guy turned up and was able to free his legs and help Del in getting him on the stern deck.. his injuries were horrendous, but amazingly, he was able to talk to us. The guy who helped Del turned out to be an ex policeman and worked for the Red Cross (and we're sorry but we have forgotten his name) but he kept the husband talking, and we found out the husbands name was Chris.. Al had watched all this and had managed to get the help and also called an ambulance and guided them to the scene of the accident.. The ambulance was there in four minutes and Al guided the paramedics into the lock. While they worked on Chris, Del held the boats while Al let the lock up gently.
By this time we had loads of people to help lift him to the ambulance.. Chris was still conscious when he was taken away.. Al supported Chris's wife and helped her get a bag together for the hospital with phone, charger, money and any medications they were taking, and also helped her button up the boat, she then got in the ambulance and they were rushed off..  We pulled their boat out of the lock and made it secure, it was also being looked after by some locals.. Very shaken, we got on Derwent6 and put in on the water point, a cup of sweet tea was in order, and Al called CART to update them. Ten minutes later the Asda delivery turned up which took our minds off it a bit..
After getting ourselves together we decided to leave and headed for the Braunston tunnel..  As we entered the tunnel we met six boats one of them on the kink in the tunnel..
There was aloud scraping noise down the side of Derwent6, can the day get any worse... When we got out the other side we checked the damage and our first bit of luck was that the sliding catch on the side doors had taken the brunt of the damage and kept Derwent6 off the side panels. 
We approached the first lock at Braunston and was very apprehensive about doing it.. but even Matty was brave enough to help, who was also a star through all this.
We stopped at the chandlers and picked up oil and filters for Derwent6's next service before heading out towards Wigram's turn.. Two Viking boats pulled out in front of us, unable to steer, and we were at idle as we followed them to bridge 103 where we had had enough and moored up..
Matty then made us some Duck shaped shortbread to help us all get our heads together... lets hope we get some sleep, but we doubt it... PLEASE GUYS GIVE LOCKS MUCH RESPECT!!!


Sue said...

It doesnt take a second for something to go terribly wrong does it.

Thank goodness you were both there to help, this guy could easily have died in that lock only for Del's strength saved him.

We all take locking for granted maybe we shouldnt?

Well done both of you. xx

Paul and El said...

Well done you two, it always helps to have someone with cool head around when these accidents happen. Lets hope he is ok.

KevinTOO said...

What good samaritans you are.
Hope things improve for Chris & his wife.
Well done guys.

nb Chance said...

What a horrendous day for you, but what a lucky guy to have you two around at the right time. Hope Chris is recovering and you both as well, very well done all of you x

Ali and John (NB Triskaideka) said...

What a horrendous thing for you all and the old chap. Good job it was you there to swiftly assist him.
We saw a chap fall in a lock today. He was pissed so came to no harm, disproving Darwin.

Have a stiff drink tonight.

John & Ali

Nev Wells said...

Without doubt that was a life saved today, you should both be very proud of yourselves for the quick actions taken.

As others have said it is complacency that is a real enemy and waiting to catch us all out,

Have a well earned relax and maybe a drink or two. Tomorrow will be a better day,

Our thoughts are with the poor fella,

Nev NB Percy

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

What a horrible thing to witness. Del needs a medal for his quick thinking. Not everyone could have done what he did. I really hope Chris will recover quickly from his injury's and I do feel for his wife being left to deal with the aftermath on her own. All I can say is thank goodness you were there to help them for you most definitely saved his life.


Chas and Ann said...

When presented with a situation it is amazing what you can do! Nothing is never an option. Well done Del.

Anonymous said...

OMG - what a thing to witness! Del, you are a star and deserve a medal! Thank goodness for your strength and quick mindedness in preventing Chris from drowning. Well done Al for keeping calm and taking charge of getting the paramedics and Chris' wife sorted. Have a very large, stiff drink tonight - it's the very least you deserve!

Lots of love, Joy & Steve xxx

nb AmyJo said...

WOW Thank god you were there to save Chris's life. Had you not been there it could have turned out horribly different.

What you did today deserves a medal and has meant someone has not lost a loved one. Have a stiff drink and be proud of your actions today, you deserve it.

Lets hope Chris makes a speedy recovery.

Well done both of you!

Judith nb Serena said...

Well done to you both and to Matty it must have been a shock for him to witness it. Good job Del on the back and not on the lock side. Hope your now over the shock and that Chris makes a full recovery.
Judith and John
nb Serena

Amanda said...

Well done to both of you for keeping cool and calm when responding so fantastically to this emergency. You definitely saved a life today. You should be very proud.

Jo Lodge said...

Well done to you both. It does not bear thinking about what would have happened had you not been there. I hope that Chris will make a full recovery and that you get to hear how he is doing, because you clearly saved his life.
Jo & Keith.

Jill, Matilda Rose said...

Thank God you were there. Well done to you both - very frightening for poor Mattie too

Pip said...

Can't say much that hasn't been said already - well done Del, you are a hero,there aren't many who can say they saved a life, but you can. Be proud
Pip & Rog xxx

Wozie nb Oakfield said...

Boaters must always be careful and vigilant as there are so many trip hazards on the canals, especially around the lock areas.
Well done to all of you for reacting so quickly and calmly to the accident.
I think you deserve a medal for saving Chris's life!

life afloat on nb tickety boo said...

Hope you two are not too shaken up after your ordeal. It's amazing how you jump in to action when you need to! Very well done to you both. Take Care :)

Narrowboat Tasmin said...

Wow, what a day and a half. Hope the gentleman is ok. Thank goodness you were there to react so fast. To have saved this chaps life ;))


Well done you two - thank God the guy seems to be OK.

Elaine had a bad fall at King's Lock at Middlewich earlier in the year and had a spell in Crewe Hospital as a result of which we've had enough and are calling it a day.

Buying a place in Lincolnshire and selling Patience. Reading things like this makes more and more sense to us now.

nb piston broke said...

Yes Del you are a hero in my book you will have to start wearing a big "S" on your t shirt with your PANTS outside your trousers and RED kinky boots mmmmmmmmmm nice. All joking aside you should be proud of yourself Regards Paul

Unknown said...

Well done you two. What a terrible thing to happen. Are you coming this way (Thrupp).

Julie said...

Well done both of you but especially Del for his quick thinking and, thank god, his strength. A smaller, older or less fit person would not have managed this.
What a fantastic response from the ambulance service too.
I bet your adrenalin was at an all time high during that, thank goodness Matty was there to put some normality back into the day.
I hope the man makes a full recovery and your back doesn’t protest too much today Del.

Anonymous said...

I always knew you were Superman! Big xxxxx
Z x

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you may have saved a life! Amazing - well done.
Julia nb Even Balance

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

We never know when we may be called on to serve as an Angel in someone's life. Thank goodness you were both there at the right moment in time. May Chris heal well. Blessing to you all.

BigJohn said...

Well Done all of you. A day to remember for all the wrong reasons and yet one where you can be proud of the way you reacted for Chris' sake.

Thanks for the salutory reminder to take care.

John & Fi