Sunday, 18 September 2011

Paras? Bullshit!

Friday night a College Cruisers narrowboat passed by the Wharf. It was late and at a point where they should have been moored up. I noticed them because my boat lurched violently, I looked out of the front window to see a a stern wave, the like of which, I have only ever seen on a returning boat. Probably the second biggest wave I have ever seen. I went to the back of my boat and remonstrated with them. The man on the tiller was so drunk he could barely stand. His companion was abusive. The drunk said you cant talk to us like that I’m in the Paras. Funny that, I thought the Paras were a respectable unit, I was obviously wrong as was proven later in the evening at the Boat Inn. They not only gave a totally erroneous account  of our encounter. They said that they were surprised that at how many people told them to slow down. They went on to say that they were ‘extreme boating’. By that they meant that as well as excessive speeding they would stand on the bridges and jump onto the boat roof as it passed underneath. This ‘trick’, if you can call it that, was demonstrated in the  Guy Martin series ‘The Boat That Guy Built’. I always said that the last thing that the waterways needed was a pratt like Guy Martin and certainly in this case I have been proven right. These so called ‘brave’ Paras when onto say what they were going to do to my boat on their way back because I had the temerity to tell them to slow down.

I don’t care who they are, they have no right to behave in this manner. Showing scant regard for the waterways, the wild life and the people who populate the canals. When people cant drink sensibly can we really trust them to hold a gun in defence of our nation? When these thugs come into this community and, without any respect at all, ignore the rules and behave like YOBS is it any wonder we think of them as thugs. As an ex military man myself, of 25 years service, I find this whole episode totally offensive to common decency.

College Cruisers need to address this type of situation. They should make it quite clear that if they get complaints the boat will be taken away by the company staff.


The Grumpy Porter said...

College Cruises seem to attract a disproportionate amount of drunks and idiots to their boats, have you ever had a polite word with them about the behaviour of their hirers and the effect it has on the local boating community.

Maffi said...

Tried tried tried again. Typical response, What can we do?

The Grumpy Porter said...

They could at least try to do something, I hired from them 3 years ago there was nothing included in the briefing I was given about speed past moored boats, they rely on putting a copy of the boaters guide on the boat. They must know that stag and hen parties will not be reading it so they don’t care really.

Skippy said...

What does the "boaters guide" say? does any one have a copy? and is there any contractual obligation to act on what it says?

Matt said...

Many years ago, my father ran a hire business on the upper thames, and he imposed a "no all Male/Female parties" on the larger cruisers (6 birth and over) and our two 55ft+ narrow boats due to the possible damage they can do in the wrong hands.
Draconian: perhaps. But he rarely got complaints of the sort you describe, and customers generally understood the reasons behind such a rule.
College Cruisers being the only major hire business in the area probably magnifies the image they have created as well.

The Grumpy Porter said...

Sorry its called the boaters handbook, you can download it from the Waterscape website, page 37 details you of the circumstances slowing down would be expected. Its not about contractual its about respect and consideration and an understanding of the dangers you may be putting other boaters in ie: boiling water being spilled on kids/people.