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News article created on 26 October 2016

Divers brave the cold to repair Torksey Lock

A team of divers has braved the cold to carry out important repairs needed to a canal lock which forms the gateway to Lincolnshire’s waterways.

Divers repairing Torksey Lock

The divers working on behalf of the Trust, carried out the repairs at Torksey Lock which marks the junction of the River Trent and Fossdyke canal.

On Tuesday 25 October they inspected and repaired a damaged ‘spear rod’ that connects the lock operating mechanism to a sluice door, known as a paddle, which is used to fill the lock with water. As the paddle is under the water the Trust called in a team of divers to investigate the full extent of the problem which revealed damage to a bolt connecting the rod to the paddle.

The lock is the first on the historic Fossdyke Navigation and enables boaters to make their way from the River Trent to Lincoln, Boston and beyond. The Fossdyke is widely believed to be one of the country’s oldest canals, dating back to Roman times and remains a popular waterway junction today.

Sean McGinley, waterway manager for the Trust said; "Torksey Lock is the main gateway for boaters wanting to explore Lincolnshire’s waterways so it’s important that we got in there and make these repairs to ensure that the lock is working as it should.

"The problem may only have been as simple as a damaged bolt but the repair was far from straightforward. Imagine trying to carry out repairs to your car when you’re in full diving gear surrounded by cold water, it’s no mean feat. Although the water was really clear, visibility would still have been far from perfect so the divers did a great job and it’s brilliant that the lock is now back to its best.

"It may seem unusual to get divers in but, with more boats on our waterways than at the height of the Industrial Revolution, it’s just one example of the work that we do to keep things running smoothly. The repairs mean boaters can easily access Lincolnshire’s historic waterways once more."