Wednesday, 13 November 2013

What do you do when all lights fail in a tunnel?

13th September 2013

Here is the scenario: I'm steering Kew through Netherton Tunnel, on the way to the Black Country Boating Festival, when the tunnel light at the front suddenly goes out. At the same time, so do all the other lights on the boat. This is my view.

As I was in the right position, heading the right way, I didn't adjust the speed even though I could see nothing. I had remembered my good old mobile phone - a very basic Nokia - had a torch. It's amazing how beneficial one tiny pinprick of light is when otherwise you are in utter darkness. Of course, my eyes had already become accustomed to the low light level, so that helped a lot. I could really see only where the back of the boat was in relation to the sides of the tunnel; I could only guess where the front, 70 feet away, was. Fortunately no boat was coming towards me (unless it had suffered a similar blackout, which I thought unlikely).

We carried on like this for a couple of minutes while David reseated a fuse, and then all the lights came on again. Hooray! But hooray also for my phone. It might not have the internet, but it is very useful all the same.

This is Kew emerging from the north portal on the return trip three days later.

The fuse gave no further problems.

updated to remove ambiguity - we weren't in the tunnel for three days!


Adam said...

That fuse must really have affected your ability to travel, if it took three days to get through the tunnel!

Halfie said...

Oops! That didn't come out too well, did it? Thanks Adam, I have amended the text. We all need editors.