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Couple try to save sinking houseboat in Shoreham
A couple are fighting to save their houseboat from sinking.
The pair spent yesterday (October 18) desperately bailing out water from their 55-foot houseboat based in Shoreham Harbour.
They were woken just before 2.45am and discovered their boat listing dangerously to starboard by high tides in Surry Boat Yard off Brighton Road, Shoreham.
After jumping to safety from the vessel, the pair then attempted to save the boat, which is believed to have been their home for the past six years.
Neighbouring houseboat owners called the emergency services and then tried to help the pair to right their boat.
When police and firefighters from Shoreham arrived at the scene, it was decided that five adjoining boats would have to be evacuated because the gangway between them had been destabilised.
Fire crews turned off the electricity and gas supply to the boat and removed a gas cylinder.
Red Cross help
The families were led by volunteers from the British Red Cross to the nearby coastguard station at Humphreys Gap before most were relocated in Adur Civic Centre for the night.
Shoreham Fire Station crew manager Rod Gates said: “When we arrived at the scene a 55 foot vessel was listing to the starboard side because of high tides.
“The boat was destabilised which was affecting the gangway which connects all the people living on other boats there.
Jetty unsafe “It was decided they should be taken away by the British Red Cross team until it became light.
“The boat was listed halfway over itself and took on half a hull full of water.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The jetty was declared unsafe and all the houseboat occupiers were evacuated apart from two people on two houseboats who refused to leave.
“Overnight accommodation was arranged by Adur and Worthing council emergency planning officer and the coastguard.
“The damage to the jetty was repaired later so the houseboat owners could return to their homes.”
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