RIVER DERWENT (Workington to the Sea)
Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:09 pm
"..... the very last bridge (pedestrian footbridge / redundant railway) as the Derwent enters Workington harbour is absolutely chock full of submerged obstructions (as well as the ones that are above river level at low tide and hence visible).
As you may have seen reported (highly selectively reported I might add) in local papers, one of our group had a very lucky escape from an entrapment yesterday afternoon. My suggestion is not to consider paddling under the bridge unless a thorough inspection has first been carried out from well above river level and at a much lower state of the tide than that at which it is intended to paddle. Three of four canoes were "tripped up" by unseen underwater objects. Because of the way the river courses at lower states of the tide, the nature of the river changes very suddenly from slow, scrapping-the-bottom shallow to a powerful, fast flowing turbulent stream immediately upstream of the bridge with virtually no eddies that more than one canoe might make. This change in character is not at all obvious from river level until it is too late to hit this eddy. The RNLI Ops Manager told us afterwards that there are some real horrors underwater across the full width of the river on the upstream face of the bridge stanchions; we were very lucky!