Boat owner ‘minutes from death’ at Northampton marina

Posted on Dec 12, 2013 in Latest News

Boat owner ‘minutes from death’ at Northampton marina

A narrowboat owner was minutes from death when he was pulled from the water of a Northamptonshire marina by a passer-by.

The man, who was in his fifties, apparently fell from the front of his boat in the night into waters at Gayton Marina.

It was only after he had been in the water up to his neck for an hour that fellow boat owner, Rocky-James Watson, who was passing by, heard his shouts and dragged him out.

Mr Watson, 31, from Standens Barn, said: “I grabbed him by the back of his pants and hauled him out.

“His body was limp and he couldn’t move.

“I picked him up on my shoulders and carried him back on his boat.

“I think he was on the verge of hypothermia, The paramedics said 10 or 15 minutes more and he wouldn’t have been around.”

Mr Watson had only been there through chance as he was visiting a nearby boat and had gone to get his mobile phone from his car.

Hearing the shouts he quickly untied the boat and pushed it away before dragging the man ashore.

The victim had apparently pulled himself along the boat to the back and tried to haul himself out by the mooring rope but his clothes were too heavy with water.

His efforts pulled the narrowboat towards him and he became trapped between the vessel and the jetty.

A volunteer community first responder was the first to attend, followed by an East Midlands Ambulance Service car.

Paramedics treated the man for hypothermia as well as a head injury, although it is not clear how he suffered the latter. He was then taken by the ambulance service for further treatment at Northampton General Hospital.

Mr Watson said he wanted the accident to serve as a warning to boat owners about water safety.

He said: “He has been a narrowboat owner for years but apparently he cannot swim.

“It just goes to show it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, you can always get into trouble.

“Everyone can get an automatically-inflating life jacket with whistle and light to keep them safe.”