A WOMAN was left homeless after her houseboat was lifted out the water and removed at Chichester Marina this morning (July 9).
Neighbouring residents expressed their sadness after the woman’s eight-ton static houseboat was craned out of Chichester Canal and taken away on a low-loader.
The 65-year-old woman is said to have lived in her houseboat Waipawa on the canal at the marina for 30 years and is understood to be suffering from mental health problems.
She is thought to have owed mooring fees to Premier Marinas, the owners of the moorings, who carried out today’s removal.
A spokesman said: Premier Marinas Chichester can confirm that the company, supported by its agents, Sussex Police and social services, took possession of the land and mooring associated with the houseboat Waipawa today.
“Waipawa had been occupied for a number of years by a 65 year old woman.
“Premier Marinas, achieved the legal and safe removal of the houseboat and its tenant from the site following years of close liaison with police and social services.
“It is hoped that the way is now clear for the tenant to receive the care and support she needs for her safety and wellbeing.”
A number of houseboats are moored along the stretch of Chichester Canal and today’s removed is thought to be the first at Chichester Marina.
Neighbouring houseboat owners spoke of their sadness at the action.
One man, who did not want to be named, said: “This has been going on for eight years and this is the culmination of that, it’s a very sad situation.
“She is known to all of us, she’s been living on her boat here for around 30 years and she’s a very nice lady.”
He said neighbours had been trying to get her help over the years.
The Observer has not been told where the houseboat has been taken and concern has been raised over where she will now live.
The police and social services were on the scene and are thought to be taking care of her.