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A night at the Fishermans Bar


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On the thread about the Fishermans Bar closing, I mentioned that we moored there for a night and had an experience, here it is

Moored up about 6pm one night and went in for a couple of beers. At about 9pm I went to boat to check the ropes, as you all know the rise and fall of the tide is quite big. Re-tied and went back to pub.

10:30 ish went back to turn in for the night, tide just about highest level. Me, OH, Mother and three kids all on board getting ready for bed. The boat was from Herbert Woods, can't think of the name, (Dawn Waters, was the same style, we hired that from Freshwater Cruisers of Brundall before they stopped hiring). It was a high level steering cruiser. Out of the back patio door I noticed a boat coming towards us, no Nav lights and a voice shouting "there must be somewhere round here, I can see lights"

I opened the doors and shouted, "can you hear me" I got a reply and quickly got our torch.

"head towards this light, there is a place to moore behind me"

"OK mate, thanks" was the reply.

Maybe I should have told them to slow down as well, but hey, hind sight is great.

They came steaming up and just in time put the engine into full reverse, they still managed to bump into us though.

I got off and helped them moore up, 5 or 6 lads.

After they were secure they asked if the pub was still open, it was about 10:45 so they had just made it, and off to the Fishermans they went.

So I got back on board, told the crew that all was well and hoped that the lads would be quiet for the night when they got back.

Now the story realy starts.

3:00am I am woken by laughing and singing from the boat behind, try to get back to sleep but can't.

RIGHT THAT IS IT, get out of bed walk to back doors and see there boat at an angle, leaning in towards the moorings.

I am now not bothered about them waking me up, but more concerned about their safety, I walk back to get dressed ready to help and fall over. When I get back up, I realise that it is not their boat on an angle, but mine. I get out of the boat and see that the rubber running strip around the deck is on the top of the moorings and the tide is going out, leaving me high and dry.

I try to push the boat off the side but how can 1 person push a big boat.

Voices from the lads, 3:30 now and thankfully they are still awake. I knock on their window, the conversation goes like this.

Knock on window

lad one "Here, their's someone at the door"

lad two "Don't be stupid, the f&^%£%^ door is at the back on the river"

lad one "Don't call me F&&^$& stupid, I just heard someone knock on the door"

Me "I'm at your window"

lad one "Told you someone was at the door"

lad two "You're wrong, he said he is at the window"

Me " For F*&*& sake stop arguing and please help me"

To this one of the lads opened the curtains and asked if he could help.

I explained the problem, and he said "How the f&^$&^$ did that happen"

I didn't want to say that they could have caused it by pushing me up that way when they moored as I needed help.

It is now about 3:45am five lads and me stood on the moorings of the Fishermanbs, pushing a boat sideways off of the moorings.

All I could think of was not waking those on board so I asked the lads to be quiet while we pushed.

After three,





Well, if you have seen a boat launched sideways, the bloody wave it made must have reached the Berney Arms.

But we had done it, I said goodnight to the lads and went back to bed.

The next morning, when we were all up and having breakfast, my OH and mother comented on how quiet our young neighbours were, and that they never heard a murmer out of them all night.

I did not tell them what had happened until we were on safe solid ground, I didn't want them to be worried about being on a boat.


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You can console yourself that you are far from alone in the hanging at an angle club Geoff. At least it wasn’t your fault, the number of boats I’ve seen moor up there at high water with short ropes and then later hanging at an angle from their cleats is too many to mention. :o

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Hi Geoff

This reminds me of when I got in a similar pickle several years ago with one of Richardsons "San Francisco's" (shh.. dont tell Clive!)

We'd been forced to moor somewhere a bit more tidal than we'd have liked and tried to allow as much slack as we could but it wasn't enough and I was woken in the night to blind panic that the boat was at a funny angle. After a few minutes of trying to convince it was just the vodka effect and to get back into bed I had to face the music. Sadly there was no other boat around for as far as the eye could see. There was just me, in my boxers pushing and swearing with all my might! It did the trick and back level into the water she fell. A bit if ingenious thinking with the ropes was needed as they were a bit too short... then it was back to bed!

All good fun I suppose, and no damage done


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Sadly the places where this is most likely to occur, close to Breydon, is also the most treachorous. Falling in at Reedham, St Olaves, Burgh castle etc. will likely lead to death even for strong swimmers, and especially at night. The thought of a semi enebriateds person trying to push a heavy vessel back into the drink whilst standing on damp grass at night is a recipe for tradgedy.

I don't know whether hire craft have clear diagrams of how to safely tie up boats in these areas but if they don't they SHOULD, and they should also provide warps of appropriate length!!

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I don't know whether hire craft have clear diagrams of how to safely tie up boats in these areas but if they don't they SHOULD, and they should also provide warps of appropriate length!!

Entirely agree, some of the strings are not even long enough to reach from the outer cleats to the bank let alone allow an angle for a bit more scope. And another thing :naughty: , the life rings never seem to have enough string either, and what they do have always seems to be in a taffle. Ideally there should be no string on the ring anyway, it should be a seperate throw line but I guess that's a bridge too far.

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Hi Smelly,

I don't know whether hire craft have clear diagrams of how to safely tie up boats in these areas but if they don't they SHOULD, and they should also provide warps of appropriate length!!

I totally agree,

but this getting stuck was nothing to do with the ropes. As when the boat nudged into me when they came to moore the tide must have been at exactly the right height, that the rubber tubing around the deck went over the concrete and just stayed there.


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This happened to me in my ignorance when we first started boating. We had hired from Loddon and spent most of the week up North. On the way back we were told to moor at Gt Yarmouth for a couple of hours because they were blasting some old piles on Breydon.

Off we went to do a bit of shopping and get some fish & chips from the town and when we came back we found the boat not quite hanging off the mooring ropes, but they were certainly very difficult to undo. We eventually got off, but that taught me a very valuable lesson. :oops:



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The water levels at end of Breydon are puzzling. In May when we were there for the Spring Meet the rise and fall of the tide was incredible. Fortunately we were tied alongside BA so as long as their ropes were OK we were fine .

I'm sure you know this but for those that don't ... you should never rely on the boat to which your rafted to support your boat. Always take appropriate lines from your boat to shore in addition to tying to the adjacent boat.

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I'm sure you know this but for those that don't ... you should never rely on the boat to which your rafted to support your boat. Always take appropriate lines from your boat to shore in addition to tying to the adjacent boat.

surely sometimes you could possibly risk it?


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No need at all Sue, I obviously agree with Lou’s comment in general but in the benign conditions we had and the size differential it was not necessary, indeed it was not even practical. You need to "be there" to make an informed comment on such stuff really.

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some quick and basic diagrams i did for an old thread re mooring lines,

that i cant find the link for :oops:

if springs (the light red lines in the drawings) are used

if either boat should sink, it should not take the other boat with it.

the forward and aft ropes can be left slack with this method

see last two diagrams bellow.

also basic man overboard tips ........

if you inadvertently loose a crew member in the dill,

circle round and approach them with the tide against you.

pick them up as they come towards you with the tide.

when they are at your bow, take the boat out of gear to

ensure they dont get minced by the prop.

if you throw them a life ring, throw it beyond them and not at them,

so that the tide will carry it to them,

and to ensure you dont inadvertently render them unconscious




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some more good tips...............

by tjoiner on Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:29 pm


A couple of other tips.

1. I recover a lot of people from the Thames each year. If you have more than two crew on board, then it is vital that whoever is at the helm shouts "engine in neutral" as you approach the swimmer. That way there's no chance of a crew member pulling the swimmer to the rear of the boat (often the lowest part of the hull) only to mince them in the propellor.

If you don't hear "engine in neutral" don't pull the swimmer towards the boat, if you have to, tow them on a long line until recovery is safe.

2. Talk to the swimmer - tell them what you are doing - "I am going to tow you to the middle of the river", " please swim to the bank" etc. If they look scared (easy in the Thames on an outgoing tide in the middle of the night at Easter), tell them to smile. For some reason it gives people confidence, and it helps you too.




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This reminds me of an incident at Burgh Castle in the 70s.

We had Queen of Hearts for the week and more overnight on Thursday night at Burgh Castle. It was only the second time we had hired and first time down south. We had heard the stories about rise and fall and my brother in law got up several times to check the ropes.

Just before dawn there was a terrific splash and lots of shouting and screaming. We all jumped up put on clothes and rushed out. The boat behind us, also from Hearts had both fore and aft cleats pulled out of the deck and was in danger of drifting away. Us and others got him back with ropes and boat hooks and got him tied up again. He had presumably moored at about high tide and tied up tight, so when the cleats couldn't take the weight anymore it dropped.

When we got back on the Saturday the Hearts blokes didn't know anything about it and were a bit peeved, also that they had to go and tow a boat back the last couple of miles as it was said to have run out of fuel. Guess who it was? Yup, the guy with the ripped up deck! To say the air was blue on his return was an understatement. Fortunately as it was early in the season they had spare bots for the next hirers.

So, we always take great care mooring anywhere near Yarmouth.


Geoff Pethick


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  • 2 years later...

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