‘Drunken’ pair given control of water taxi

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SPALDING water taxi has come under fire after a pilot allegedly allowed two drunken men to take control.

Bosses of the popular attraction say they are investigating a “serious complaint” lodged by a family left feeling anxious during a journey from Springfields to Spalding on Bank Holiday Monday.

A 54-year-old man, who does not wish to be identified, said he, his sister and niece were “appalled” after the captain of the boat sat at the back chatting to fellow passengers while a pair, who were obviously “worse for wear with alcohol” swerved to hit ducks and narrowly missed concrete bridges.

He said it was obvious they had been drinking as the boat “stank like a brewery” as soon as they boarded, and they were quite loud.

After the two men had taken their turn at the helm, fellow passengers were treated to a barrage of bad language as they chatted to their two female friends.

The man, who has compiled a list of questions he wants answering on boat safety, said: “My family and I enjoyed a pleasant trip to Springfields but the journey back was appalling and not at all plesant.

“It put me and my family at risk and broke every safety rule in the book.

“We basically paid for the privilege of a service that allowed people to get drunk on the vessel and then drive us to Spalding in a drunken state, potentially putting us at risk.”

He said his niece was obviously anxious during the trip, adding: “This is not a witch hunt on the perhaps misguided captain responsible, but it was irresponsible and dangerous.”

Water taxi boss Ian Canham confirmed a complaint had been received and that it would be thoroughly investigated.

He said: “We are always mindful of the safety element of the water taxi operation and while we encourage interaction between the pilot and passengers safety has to remain paramount.

“The pilot is the one on the ground who has to make an assessment and this complainant obviously feels he made the wrong assessment in this case.

“I now need to talk to the pilot and will answer the complaint in full when that has happened.”