A section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has reopened after a major breach in the waterway left narrowboat owners stranded.
The canal, between Rishton and Church, ruptured in the early hours of October 11, losing a significant amount of water, with part of the canal almost completely drained.
Footage taken at the time showed a huge hole in the canal bank with water flooding Hyndburn Creek.
Booms were installed in an attempt to isolate the leak in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, with narrow boat owners unable to cook, shower or use their toilets.
Now, following a six-month, £1.7million project to re-establish the canal for boaters, walkers, runners and the local community, the section has reopened.
The Canal and River Trust’s senior project manager, Dilwyn Parry, said: “We have been working hard on site to repair the canal and get it back up and running as quickly as possible.
“I am happy that it is open again for sailing time for the high summer season.
“There are ongoing repairs to the towpath between Bridge 109 and Bridge 110 which will be completed by the end of May.”
At the time, the Canal and Rivers Trust were unsure what caused the leak, but they now say a small culvert dating back 200 years when the canal was first built and carrying a stream below the waterway, collapsed, causing a section of the historic embankment to wash away into the adjacent river Hyndburn.
More than 6,000 tons of stone were needed to rebuild the canal embankment and put the culvert back in place.
The repair was particularly difficult because the site of the breach is remote from local roads and required the construction of a temporary access road along the drained canal bed so that materials could be purchased at the site.
Mr Parry added: “The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is an extremely popular canal for the hundreds of boaters, walkers and cyclists who use it every day for their health and wellbeing.
“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and support during the work.”
Canal & River Trust is asking people to #ActNowForCanals and help support their local waterway, volunteer projects, citizen science surveys, fundraising or litter cleanup.
Every little action can make a huge difference.
For more information visit: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/donate