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Couple lose everything as canal boat sinks in Thurmaston, Leicestershire

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A couple lost their home and almost all their possessions after their narrowboat sank.

Carolann and Trevor Forman have moored their 61ft boat Merlot at the marina in Thurmaston since the summer.

While attending a funeral in Wales last Thursday, the pair got a call to say that high water had engulfed all but three feet of their home.

"We rushed back but it took three days before I could even look at Merlot," said Carolann, 56.

"It is a nightmare and I still can't believe it has happened. It is totally devastating.

"It is a home for us and had everything in it.

"We had the stuff we took with us – laptops, cameras – but apart from that it is all gone.

"The boat is filled with water and it's all gone."

The couple have toured around the country in their £50,000 boat since Trevor, a former police inspector, retired four-and-a-half years ago.

Merlot has been moored at the marina in Pinfold Road since the end of the summer.

The couple were splitting their winter between the stationary boat and a cottage in Wales.

Carolann said she believed the front of the boat got caught on the bank and instead of floating on the rising water, was trapped and filled with water.

"We don't know for sure at the moment, but that is what we think might have happened," she said.

"People keep saying it is only stuff in the boat and that thankfully nobody was hurt – both of which are very true – but it is our home.

"I would honestly have rather lost our cottage in Wales."

The water is still too high to begin a rescue, because any water they pump out would spill back in.

Accompanied by a salvage expert, the couple will return to the boat tomorrow. They hope drier weather will mean levels have dropped enough to attempt to rescue the boat.

"Hopefully, the front hatch will be exposed and we can pump it out and begin to salvage what we can," said Carolann, a former firefighter and police officer.

"I love the boat. We sold our home and it took us 18 months to find. I don't want another boat, I want that one."

Meanwhile, Carolann said she was expecting a call from daughter Suzanne, in North Yorkshire, who is due to give birth any day now.

"It really is a very stressful time indeed," she said.

"We wanted to tell our story so that other boat owners will take precautions."

Couple lose everything as canal boat  sinks in Thurmaston, Leicestershire


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