1876: Boat disaster in floods on River Avon near Bristol
From the Grantham Journal, 26th February 1876:
FLOODS NEAR BRISTOL.
The continued floods in the neighbourhood of Bristol resulted in a sad disaster on Friday afternoon in the upper part of the River Avon, near Crew's Hole. Two heavily laden barges belonging to Mr. Adam Twyne, of Wootton Bassett, while rounding the awkward point into the Netham Lock, were carried by the rapid currents caused by the excessive floods on to the dam, over which the fresh water was dashing with the force of a torrent. Efforts were made to reach them and render assistance.
In one instance four men entered a boat and put off from the Netham bank. By great effort they mastered the force of the current sufficiently to reach the barges, but the boat then capsized. Two of the gallant fellows succeeded in climbing on to one of the barges; the other two were beneath the capsized boat, but, struggling to the surface, they were dashed on the fence with which the top of the dam is faced. One man, clutching the railing, held on till a sailor from the barge crawled along the balustrade and helped him to reach a point from which they could get to one of the barges. The fourth man, however, was swept over the dam, and, after being seen for a moment struggling amid the turbulent water inside the dam, he disappeared.