The river yobs strike again as a child’s finger is broken on the Cam. LOUIS DURKAN reports.
In yet another shocking incident of river rage on the Cam, a seven year-old boy has been left with a broken thumb by hit-and-punt yobs.
The youngster, who attends the exclusive £21,000-a-year King’s College school was enjoying an idyllic outing on the river with his family in a self-hire punt when his boat was rammed by another craft. He grabbed the side of the punt to balance himself but found his fingers brutally jammed against a concrete wall.
The shunt occurred at the notoriously congested stretch of the river near Orgasm Bridge, with the incident coming just one month after a 70-year-old man suffered a broken leg in another ‘hit-and-punt’ collision.
The pensioner, who was steering a college punt, had his leg crushed by another boat carrying tourists down the river. Mimicking the aftermath of last month’s incident, the offenders – who had reportedly been drinking – sailed on without stopping to help, leaving the student in agony.
This latest act of violence on the river comes as those responsible for policing the River Cam plan a crackdown on boorish behaviour on the crowded waterway, which is popular with tourists and students.
Everybody’s favourite waterway busy bodies “The Cam Conservators” said most of the problems were down to sheer bad manners. An inside source revealed that they were considering making Emily Post compulsory reading before permitting allowing individuals onto the river.
All punt companies contacted have denied their involvement leading to speculation that once again, the boat may have been hired from a college (our money’s on King’s).
One second-year Lawyer from Selwyn, is worried that the vacuum left behind by the removal of Mr Asbo the swan from the river is being filled: “This is what happens when you upset the balance of nature!”
An undergraduate Architect said, “Cambridge has not seen the need for a Police presence in the form of a punt patrol as yet – but due to the sharp increase in crime, many students are worried action needs to be taken. Think of the children!”
A recent Chemistry graduate has his own tale of punting woes to relate. “I was once boarded whilst punting. Somebody jumped off one of the bridges out towards Grantchester and crushed a punnet of plums situated between my legs.”
One Cauis linguist wished for the “calm calm freezing winter to restore order to the lawless river”. Let’s hope he gets his wish.