These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

7th - 8th August. Back on to the River Shannon at Portumna, Meelick Quay, Banagher, then drama at Shannon Bridge.

We left Lough Derg on Wednesday, to head back up the River Shannon through Portumna Bridge. This bridge opens at set times throughout the day, no doubt annoying the traffic on the road!

Although we have enjoyed Lough Derg, it is quite nice to be on calm waters again, on the River Shannon.

I do not think we have ever seen the River Shannon so calm as it was at Meelick Quay.

Even the horse by the building is there in the reflections.

We called in at Banagher to collect our non-functioning computer. This man, just outside the harbour, has been carved from a tree, which used to stand here.
A favourite walk of ours is through the pitch and putt golf course on the other side of the river at Banagher. Here too is this dinghy marina, which makes them look like toys.
At Shannonbridge we had a major drama, as a man from a hire boat fell into the water, while rafting up to Daisy, in front of The Puzzler. He was not wearing a lifejacket. We were the third boat out, being tied outside the barges 57M and 68M. His two teenage daughters began screaming that he could not swim, while Sally, returning across the barges from the bank, called for Andy to come out and help. Michael arrived too, while a Frenchman from another hire boat dived in after him. As the man went down for the third time the Frenchman went down after him. They both disappeared from view, then our rescuer pulled the unfortunate man to the surface. Andy used our boat hook to get them in beside The Puzzler, and we got hold of his hands. He was a big man, and was weakening by the minute. The Frenchman was also in difficulties by then and had to be hauled out of the water, so that we did not lose him too. All potentially useful ropes were inside the locker, underneath us, as we held him out of the water. Michael organised the two girls to row their dinghy across to The Puzzler, and eventually pulled him into the dinghy, with adrenaline helping! Once the dinghy was taken across to the cruiser by the wall, your man managed to climb the ladder, with help. He was immediately wrapped in blankets, with hot water bottles, and an ambulance was called, which arrived within 15 minutes. He was taken to Ballinasloe Hospital but returned later that evening. Hopefully he will always wear his lifejacket in future, as he will not have a future if he does not do so! Andy and Michael are just off downstream to collect two lifebouys which were thrown in, but drifted past before they could be used in the rescue.

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