East Riding of Yorkshire Council is appealing for information to help find the owners of 10 sunken vessels in the River Hull located between Tickton and Beverley Beck, as it finalises plans to remove them in September.
The vessels have been identified as causing an obstruction in the river and it was decided to remove them as part of the River Hull Integrated Catchment Strategy (RHICS), adopted by the River Hull Board in July 2015 and supported by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, designed to improve the flow of the river and reduce the risk of flooding for local communities.
The council is currently arranging the relevant environmental permits with the Environment Agency and Natural England has approved the otter licence application. Tenders have been returned and the council is in the process of appointing a contractor.
Operations will be similar to those that took place in September 2016, when two vessels were refloated and lifted from the river.
The work has to be completed before the end of September so as not to disturb lampreys, a protected species of fish that live in the River Hull.
Sir Greg Knight MP, chair of the River Hull Board, said: “Removing these sunken vessels from the River Hull is a key part of RHICS and, subject to obtaining the necessary permits and the appointment of a contractor, will take place before the end of September.
“Last year saw two vessels successfully removed from the river in a well-organised operation and a similar programme of works is in the process of being finalised now.
“All the partners involved in the River Hull Board are playing their part in helping to reduce the risk of flooding for hundreds of homes and businesses right along the River Hull by undertaking the kind of practical action that many local communities have called for.”
Councillor Symon Fraser, cabinet portfolio holder for strategic asset management, housing and environment at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Subject to the relevant permits being secured and a contractor being appointed, the council will look to continue its delivery of the RHICS and remove these sunken vessels.
“Flooding in the River Hull valley represents the second biggest flood risk to our area, with the first one being flooding from the Humber Estuary, and the council takes its responsibilities in reducing the risk of flooding for both local communities and businesses extremely seriously.”
As well as the removal of the sunken vessels, RHICS proposes a range of actions that will:
• make “more room” in the River Hull by looking for opportunities to use the tidal surge barrier in different ways to exclude tides during prolonged rainfall
• undertake work at pumping stations at Bransholme, Wilfholme and Hempholme
• reduce risk from the Holderness Drain through storing flood water and making changes to pumping arrangements
• encourage landowners on higher ground to retain surface water on their land through a variety of land management techniques so that it takes longer for rain water to reach the river
• raise banks at low spots on sections of the Beverley and Barmston Drain as well as some of its tributaries.
For more information on the strategy, contact the council by email at floods@eastriding.gov.uk
The owners of the vessels or anybody with further information are encouraged to contact the council’s flood risk management team, as soon as possible, on (01482) 395656 / 395646 or email fcerm@eastriding.gov.uk

Mark Bateman
Press Officer MCIPR, CIPR Accredited Practitioner
East Riding of Yorkshire Council

01.09.2017