Staff from the Canal & River Trust and nearby Wheelton Boat Yard came to the boaters' assistance. The paddles were blocked up temporarily, allowing the lock to be refilled slowly. Luckily, the boat then refloated without any obvious damage.
Reports suggest that there have been previous incidents with this lock in the last few weeks and that the paddles have been faulty for more than a year. CRT are believed to have carried out a temporary repair recently and it was this repair that gave way on Friday.
It is not yet known whether Canal and River Trust plans to fit new paddles soon or whether a further temporary repair will be made. Boaters using the lock need to be alert to the possibility of further problems.
It is understood that nobody was injured in Friday's incident.
Incident at Johnsons Hillock Locks. Photo: Chris Brooks