The spirit of the boating community
On Thursday evening, I heard somebody shouting a name at the top of their voice from the nearby bridge. This happened off and on for half-an-hour. Then a notification popped up simultaneously on the neighbourhood and boaters' groups that a local 8-
year old boy had gone missing.
As a Dad, this rocked me and I immediately grabbed two torches and hopped off Wyebourne into the lengthening dusk to join the search. Up and down the canal, boaters were emerging, dinners forgotten as they joined the search, and very quickly our lights were bobbing up and down the towpath and through the adjacent fields and forests. Forty minutes later, the boy was found and reunited with his frantic family.
The rain has been torrential at times this last week. On Friday night, a downpour flooded a narrowboat and caused it to sink at its mooring. Once again, boaters rallied to help with pumps, equipment and moral support. The boat is the only home of a lady who has lived onboard for a few years and sadly much of her belongings were ruined by the immersion. A fellow boater has set up a funding page to raise money to replace damaged possessions and refit the interior of the boat, which was refloated after the community effort.
Being a part of a community of people so willing to rally to one another’s aid is truly something special.