East Lancashire Sailing Club forced to end season early after water used to top up canal (From Blackburn Citizen)
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East Lancashire Sailing Club forced to end season early after water used to top up canal
2:34pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
EAST Lancashire Sailing Club has been forced to end its season early after Rishton Reservoir dropped to its lowest level for years.
Over the past few weeks, the reservoir has been slowly drained to top up the Leeds to Liverpool canal after emergency work to the waterway.
Following the collapse, which occurred on a tow path in Rishton, four large sink holes in the base of the waterway were discovered by workers from the Canal and River Trust (CRT). Repair work is set to take months and cost around £300,000.
Publicity officer for East Lancashire Sailing Club Patrick Walker said: “It will put an early end to our season. We would have sailed to the end of October and the first few weeks in November, depending on the weather, but now there’s no way.
“It’s still possible to sail and one boat was out yesterday but it’s awkward. We have to drag boats through the mud which is hard work, and it could scratch the bottom of the boat, which deters people.”
Mr Walker said the club would not lose out financially and does not take part in external competitions, but said it ‘might get complaints from members when it comes to membership renewal time’. He added: “It’s fortunate the collapse happened at this time of year because if it happened in June it would have wiped out our entire season.”
Yesterday afternoon, a fisherman sat at the bottom of the reservoir’s bank, a spot normally under water.
One dog walker said he had never seen the reservoir looking so low. He said: “We won’t need a rod to catch fish soon, we will be able to just walk in and grab them.”
And Rishton councillor Ken Moss said: “I can’t see it being a major problem because we’re coming up to the winter season. The sailing club will be affected but the geese migrate at this time of year. I suppose we’re lucky it happened when it did, it could have been worse.”
A CRT spokesman said: “The reservoir will be lower because we are using it to get water to the canal in Rishton, but it is not dangerously down because we monitor the situation.”
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