Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
We want everyone to stay safe this summer, so here are some of the common causes of sinking boats on our canals and rivers, together with a few pointers about how to prevent it happening to you.
There has been much comment and speculation across the internet this year after two narrowboats sank after being rented out by their owners, one in London and one in Lancashire. As neither craft had been let with the correct type of boat licence or safety certificates, both the renters and boat owners have been left massively out of pocket as their insurance hasn't covered the damage.
Sadly, it’s not just rented boats that sink, but any boat if you are not careful about what you are doing while on the water.
One of the most common causes of sinking boats on the inland waterways is a problem with the weed hatch, usually omitting to secure it properly to prevent ingress of water into the engine bay. When water comes through your weed hatch your boat can sink remarkably quickly.
Another really common cause is getting hung up in a lock, either by cilling the boat or getting something trapped in the gate such as the rudder as happened in the Droitwich tragedy.
A less common cause of hang-ups has been navigating locks with fenders dangling down the side or forward and aft fenders either being in poor condition or not suitable for the purpose.
Other hazards which could lead to sinking include navigating in flood conditions (red boards), which is never recommended, and ignoring danger signs, especially 'Don’t moor here' danger signs, which are usually placed in front of underwater obstructions, ledges and sluice intakes.
In a collision, either with another boat or waterway infrastructure, plastic and wooden craft are more prone to sinking, but some metal boats may have very thin hulls too. Old Springer Engineering built narrowboats have been known to spring a leak or two.
Constant vigilance and making sure your crew is properly briefed is key to preventing your boat from sinking:
Should your boat unfortunately sink, it’s your responsibility to salvage it, not ours. Your first priority should be making sure everyone in your crew is safe. The second thing to do is to contact your insurance company and then to contact us.
Our local teams will go out to the boat’s location to ensure that any pollution is contained and that the boat is secured in a way that isn’t causing a hazard to navigation. Your insurance company will arrange with a specialist recovery company to salvage your boat, if that is included in your insurance. If it’s not included, or for any reason (such as renting your boat out without the correct type of licence) you have invalidated your policy, we have two pre-approved contractors who can salvage your craft but you will need to arrange that directly with them and pay for the recovery yourself. If you’re not going to use one of our pre-approved contractors to salvage your boat, the company undertaking the work will need our authorisation first before starting work to rescue your boat.
It’s always worth paying for the most comprehensive insurance cover you can afford as salvage costs can be very expensive. Always read the small print of your policy carefully, and be aware that if you only Third Party, Fire and Theft, the cover is normally just that and won’t cover salvage if your boat sinks.
Stay safe, be careful out there and hopefully a sinking will be something that never happens to you.
Find out what the Canal & River Trust's boating team have been up to.