Concerns grow as 'huge boat' blocks off parts of River Hiz
- Credit: Archant
Experts have confirmed that Hitchin is in crisis this morning, after a towering boat carrying precious cargo crashed and blocked off parts of the River Hiz overnight.
The Never Risen, a mighty paper vessel that's the envy of shipbuilders across the world, is believed to have got stuck in the Hiz yesterday evening after an arduous 11-second journey.
Carrying imaginary ice-creams, lollies and picnic blankets - essential cargo in the wake of the mini heatwave the country has faced this week - Never Risen was merely inches from its arrival point before it unfortunately ran aground.
Maritime experts fear it could take "seconds, if not minutes" to dislodge the huge vessel, which is currently blocking a major trading route into the market town.
Using real-time updates on MaritimeTracker.com, we know Never Risen began its journey on the evening of Wednesday, March 31 when its Captain pushed it afloat by Hitchin Market.
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It slowly but surely weaved its way up towards St Mary's Church - its final destination - before coming to a thudding halt just inches away from shore as wind levels plummeted.
Maritime traffic remains blocked in both directions this morning, casting a long shadow over local businesses that rely on the Hiz for its essential trade links to the market town.
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Prof Comi Scone, lecturer in shipping logistics and economics at the University of Hertfordshire, calculated eye-watering costs exceeding £1 for every day this crisis lingers on.
Plans to start "significant" dredging efforts to help dislodge the behemoth of a boat are already underway, with reserves from the Bedford Road Territorial Army centre believed to have been contacted.
More information to come as we get it.