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News article created on 29 June 2016

Divers inspect 200 year old Berkshire Canal

Divers have hit the water this week to inspect a stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal in Hungerford

Diving in Hungerford Diving in Hungerford

The survey is focussed on the canal wall at Hungerford Wharf, to check the condition of the brickwork and plan any work needed to secure it in future.

With poor visibility underwater, the divers will use touch and feel to explore and then record any holes or defects in the wall, before recording it all in a technical drawing to be used by the Trust’s engineers.

Like a blind astronaut

Mark Evans, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “We regularly inspect every aspect of the canal to make sure we catch any problems before they get too serious. In places like Hungerford Wharf it can be quite tricky to get access below the waterline as we can’t easily drain the canal, so we get the divers in to check on anything that might need some work doing.

“It’s amazing what the teams can do with lots of kit on and very little visibility, it’s a bit like being a blind astronaut. The information they’ll give us will be really crucial to working out how best we secure the canal in future, and help us plan the work that needs doing.”

To find out more about the Kennet & Avon Canal, visit: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/our-regions/kennet-and-avon-waterways.