According to press reports, a 40-foot motoryacht was being delivered Saturday on England’s Thames River, which had risen because of heavy rains, prompting high-water warnings from local officials.
When the yacht came up on the Chertsey Bridge — a seven-arch stone structure built in 1785 — its normal 19-foot vertical clearance had been reduced. Heading into a strong current, the yacht became wedged under the center arch.
The skipper and one crewmember were unable to free the vessel because of engine problems, according to reports.
Authorities closed the busy bridge to traffic while a crowd of onlookers gathered.
A powerboater wound up coming to the rescue, tying a line to the yacht and freeing it after several failed attempts.
Click play for video of the operation.
"He shouldn't have even been on the river. The red flag was out, stating the dangers,” one onlooker told the local press. “It was pulled clear just after 2.30 p.m., so [it] was stuck there for at least an hour and a half.”
The yacht, estimated at $800,000, had superficial damage, according to a post on the forum. “It looked like the boat was three-quarters of the way through the bridge when the current swung it round, as someone said, very little room for error,” reads the post by “bargeboater.”