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Sinking boat leaks fuel into the river near Maidenhead Bridge

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Concerns have been raised over the response to complaints about a partially-submerged boat that has been leaking fuel in to the River Thames.

At the beginning of November, residents spotted the stricken boat, moored between Boulters Lock and Maidenhead Bridge.

On November 5, John Fox phoned the Environment Agency’s incident line and reported this.

The operator said she would pass this to the local team responsible for this part of the river.

The next day Mr Fox saw that the boat was still there and continued to leak fuel.

This time the operator said he would chase up the report and pass it to the duty officer, but still no action was taken.

Upon talking to other residents, Mr Fox discovered they had seen the leak five days before he had, and that they had also made calls to the Environment Agency.

When contacted by the Advertiser, the Environment Agency spokesman said: “We have contacted the boat’s owner, who is responsible for moving it.

“Fortunately, the fuel leak was only minimal, with no lasting effect on the environment.”

The spokesman also told the Advertiser that it was the responsibility of the Royal Borough, not the agency, to solve the problem.

But Mr Fox said he received no indication of this when he called the agency’s incident line and remains concerned about the impact on wild birds on the water.

“It’s still leaking today, which is an awful long time,” he said on Tuesday.

The Royal Borough had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.

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