THE owners of three narrowboats are stranded and unable to cook, shower or sleep in their beds after a massive leak drained a section of canal.

The boats were moored for the night on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Rishton with the owners shocked to be awoken at around 2am on Monday when they fell out of bed due to their craft listing badly.

Sheila Bevan, 66, Gary Bevan, 62, and Glenn Willis, 62, all realised that something was very wrong when they saw water flooding past, with tyres and doors caught up in the rapid water.

Through the night, the water continued to rush until the locks were shut, as the water level on the section of waterway dropped considerably.

Since Monday morning, the narrowboat residents, who were originally heading for Burnley, have been unable to shower, cook or use the toilet as it is too dangerous.

Sheila, from Rufford, said: “We can’t live like this for long. This is our home. It is very dangerous. We don’t have much power left and we are relying on solar but because of the weather, we are not getting much power.

“We can’t move – the Canal and Rivers Trust haven’t told us that but we just can’t move. The boats are resting at the bottom of the canal.”

The three, who are in two boats on the canal, are sleeping on the floor and having to walk while holding the wall to get around their boats.

Husband and wife, Sheila and Gary, who have been living on their boat for 10 months, have had to put their two dogs in kennels because the boat is at such an angle, they were worried about the dogs breaking their legs.

Due to a lack of power, they are only using necessities and the group are looking to purchase a generator to provide them with more energy while they remain stranded.

Lancashire Telegraph: Their narrowboats, in which they all permanently reside, are stuck on the bottom of the canal following the breach earlier in the week

The Canal and Rivers Trust has been out to speak to them and explained that they had opened the gates for the Rishton reservoir to allow some water to come back in and have contracted Kier to install a pipe to assist with repumping water into the section.

The group believe, however, that it could take weeks as the water is rising by one to two inches a day.

Glenn, who has been travelling on his boat for two years, said: “It needs to be rising one to two feet not inches. Luckily they don’t need to fix the breach before we can get moving but there needs to be more water.

“It will probably take weeks.”

While they have been stuck, they say people living nearby have been very accommodating and welcoming. Currently, the trust is continuing to work on repairing the breach and have installed a dam further up the canal to help the water levels continue to rise.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "We are in touch with all the boaters directly affected by this breach. We have spoken to each of them and will continue to keep them in the loop with developments. Information on support required is being collected and we will do all we can to help."