Thursday, 30 December 2010

Bored Teenagers

On tuesday night, a small plastic boat was stolen from the marina. It was driven downstream, torched, and then set loose. Apparently, they'd tried to break into three other boats, before they found one they could start up. The owner has no insurance, and the police were round today, looking for fingerprints on the unpinched boats.

Earlier that night, there was a bunch of young men hanging around at the back of our boat. I heard them say, "There's somebody on this one". "Is there?". "Yeah". Not terribly unusual, as we're moored next to the pub jetty, and people come and go all the time. When they'd moved on, i thought no more about it. About half eleven, i heard a small boat going downstream. "that's late to be out and about", i thought. "it's bloody freezing out there".

Then there was the ominous sound of a heavy splosh.

*SPA-LOSSSSHHH*. "Oh no". At first I thought somebody was most probably drunk, and had fallen overboard. But it must have been the crims ditching heavy objects over the side. By the time I'd got my head out of the hatch to investigate, the stolen boat was down past the railway bridge. Nobody was in the river, so I went to bed.

The rumour on the grapevine, is that it was a group of 5 18-19 year olds.


  1. I really feel for the owner of the little boat.

    Once I was on my boat and I heard something odd going on out side, and I took a look and saw three guys pinching an out board motor - as they were on the other side of the river I couldn't get to them, so called the police - but they were next to useless (I was on the phone explaining how they could quite easily catch them!!!) The out board was found (but not by the police).

  2. I feel sorry for him, yes. But for 200 quid (or less) he could have been covered for exactly that eventuality. I know and appreciate that times are hard, but there are a lot of unlicensed and uninsured boats on this stretch of the river. It's not like the canals, where there are regular BW "enforcement" patrols. Nobody checks. If you don't go through locks, you don't pop up on the radar. EA and the Thames police seem to have been quite lax on this in the past.

    I'm all up for people "sticking it to the man", if they can. But I wouldn't like an uninsured boat ramming into ours. In our policy, we also have 3 million quid of public liability insurance. Should we take out a bridge, sink somebody's boat, or squash a canoeist. I'm not a fan of giving money away for the sake of it, but i think the river can be a dangerous place, and there are many hazards and scrotes out there. insurance feels like money well spent, because it gives peace of mind to know that you are covered. if somebody stole and torched dogma, it wouldn't be the end of us. personally, i think that's worth 200 quid. though i'd hope we'd be "one of the three". a boat that couldn't be broken into, or started.

    maybe they did him a favour. the boat went out twice a year at most. the rest of the time, it was just sat there racking up mooring fees. also unlicensed and uninsured. the owner (to me) obviously didn't love it.