Barges are left high and dry after mechanical glitch DRAINS canal in under 90 minutes 

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A row of canal and river boats were left sitting high and dry after a bizarre mechanical fault which left a canal DRAINED of water.

Boats were left stuck in the mud, or tipped partially on their side in the remaining trickle of water, after the canal level dropped dramatically by almost two metres in just an hour and a half.

Bemused passengers were left sitting atop their stranded canal narrowboats, waiting for emergency services to come and rescue them from the muddy bog that was left behind.

Boats were left stuck in the mud or tipped on their side after the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath, Somerset, rapidly drained of water

Boats were left stuck in the mud or tipped on their side after the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath, Somerset, rapidly drained of water

Water levels in the canal level dropped dramatically by almost two metres in only an hour and a half

Water levels in the canal level dropped dramatically by almost two metres in only an hour and a half

Passengers were left sat on top of their stranded boats, unable to walk ashore because of the thick mud on the canal bed

Passengers were left sat on top of their stranded boats, unable to walk ashore because of the thick mud on the canal bed

The bizarre draining, at Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath, Somerset, happened on Tuesday evening from around 5pm, due to a mechanical failure with the sluice gates at Twerton, Bath.

Crews from Avon Fire and Rescue attended the scene with their specialist water rescue unit, in order to stabilise the boats.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Canal & River Trust said: ‘The Canal & River Trust, and emergency services were on site to help as soon as we were made aware of the situation.

Those who were stranded had to sit and wait for the emergency services to rescue them. Crews from Avon Fire and Rescue attended the scene with their specialist water rescue unit

Those who were stranded had to sit and wait for the emergency services to rescue them. Crews from Avon Fire and Rescue attended the scene with their specialist water rescue unit

A spokesperson for the Canal & River Trust said: 'The Canal & River Trust, and emergency services were on site to help as soon as we were made aware of the situation'

A spokesperson for the Canal & River Trust said: ‘The Canal & River Trust, and emergency services were on site to help as soon as we were made aware of the situation’

‘We closed the waterway between locks 6 and 7, at 7pm.’

A message on the Canal & River Trust website yesterday read: ‘Please be advised that there is a mechanical failure of the Environment Agency sluice gates at Twerton.

‘The water levels between lock 6, Weston Lock and Lock 7, Bath Bottom Lock are currently dropping rapidly. 

The fault was due to a mechanical failure of the Environment Agency sluice gates at Twerton, affecting a whole stretch of canal

The fault was due to a mechanical failure of the Environment Agency sluice gates at Twerton, affecting a whole stretch of canal

Some boats were tipped on their side in the water and specialist equipment was required to stabilise the boats

Narrowboat passengers were left high and dry after the incident in Somerset

Boats were left either stranded or tipped on their side in the muddy sludge that was left behind after the water drained

The bizarre draining happened on Tuesday evening from around 5pm, and was caused by a mechanical failure

The bizarre draining happened on Tuesday evening from around 5pm, and was caused by a mechanical failure

The Environment Agency dispatched engineers to the scene after the technical fault, while anyone in danger was advised to call 999

The Environment Agency dispatched engineers to the scene after the technical fault, while anyone in danger was advised to call 999

‘The Environment Agency have been informed and their engineers are on [the] way to [the] site however we are advising customers not to navigate.

‘The emergency services are in attendance. If you are in immediate danger please contact 999.’

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