Could That Be The Hole? Breach 41, 10th April

Thankfully the weather hasn’t stopped Mark from visiting the breach site today, here in Scarborough it is doing it’s best to snow, I suspect drones and the fingers that control them are not too keen on the white stuff.


The cofferdam is now fully drained.

10/4/2021 Looking westwards

You can see where people have been walking in the silt. Levels to the west of the cofferdam are still low.


There is a large puddle (bottom left), for want of a better word, very close to where the big hole on the towpath is. My first thought was could this be where the piling or base of the canal has given way.


But then Mick said , why is it full of water?


Maybe this is where the breach is but the route out for the water is higher than the hole, so it has acted as a kind of U bend like you get on a toilet. Once the water level is higher than the route outwards the water drains away until it is level with the last thing blocking it’s route out. The footage below was taken on the 30th December.

Certainly when water was draining into the drain below it was rushing under the towpath, over the top of the drain and around the end of the bridge where there are now large boulders. The footage below was taken on the 29th December by Mark. Where the digger on the back of the boat has it’s bucket is where the hole in the towpath is. So the stern of the boat is right over where the big puddle is today.

Hopefully the engineers have been to site to have a look and see what the extent of the damage is.

10/04/2021 Looking down into the drain today

It may well be that most of what was once under the towpath over the drain has been washed away.


Large blocks have been placed on the bank presumably to stop machinery and vehicles from missing the access ramp into the cofferdam.

The pumps keep going supplying the docks with water. Hopefully a sufficient amount to increase ABP’s confidence which hopefully will then lead to limited passages through the locks for leisure craft.

The Goole Escape group now has 45 members. Most boats are moored in Goole but there are a couple of boats who are stuck at Rawcliffe Bridge which is between the breach and Goole caisson. Currently stop planks block their way to access the docks.

David has called the Lock Keepers at Naburn, Selby, Keadby and Torksey in the last couple of days. All locks off the River Ouse and River Trent are operable. But unfortunately the swing bridge out of Selby Basin is currently unsafe to use, the main bearing on the bridge has weakened, possibly due to heavier than normal road traffic over it. Surveyors have advised C&RT not to use the bridge until the problem is rectified. Then at Tankards Bridge there is a 7ft height restriction. So currently there is no escape route through Selby. The Lockies at Selby are going to keep us updated as things progress.

So escape routes will be to York, Barmby, Keadby, Torksey. Some boats are talking about heading to Hull or even Grimsby.

Thank you Mark once again for letting me use your photos.