Do you know a vulnerable boater?

Boating can be a great lifestyle, but it can get tough at times. To help out, we want to put boaters in touch with the people who can help.

“Thank you so much for all the help and assistance you have offered us, we never knew that there was support we could get.”


Ultimately we want all our customers to stay safe and enjoy our waterways. Our welfare guidance is here to help and hopefully reduce the number of vulnerable boaters who end up receiving enforcement action.

Our welfare guidance explains how we'll help:

  • Customers identify and take advantage of the support available from local authorities, who have a duty of care to provide adequate services (housing, social services, benefit advice etc), and/or other support agencies
  • Colleagues spot where customers, and in particular boaters, may be vulnerable and where support may help prevent boaters receiving enforcement action purely because of vulnerability. Remember, boats are only removed after all other avenues have been exhausted

We'll also work with key partners, for example local health services, council departments or specialist charities, to signpost boaters to the help and advice available to them.

“You listened, offered advice and gave us time to get help, thank you to everyone that listened.”


Who to contact if you're worried

If you’re a boater in need of help, or you’re concerned about a boater who you think might be vulnerable and in need of help, please contact your local licence support officer directly. You can also contact them by calling 0303 040 4040.

Download our guidance and factsheet

Download a PDF copy of our Welfare Guidance (Please note: this guidance is aimed at helping our staff who may come into contact with vulnerable boaters).

Download a PDF copy of our seeking advice factsheet.

Download our Equality Policy where we set out our commitment to promote equality for people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and our approach to making reasonable adjustments to remove disadvantages for disabled persons in accessing and using our network.

The Canal & River Trust is committed to promoting equality for people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. We've a specific process for making reasonable adjustments to our normal cruising requirements for disabled boaters. Please read our FAQs sheet for our Equality Questionnaire before downloading our Equality Questionnaire.

Last date edited: 4 December 2018