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River Hull sunken boats' owners being sought

Sunken boat being lifted up from the river Image copyright East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Image caption So far 10 sunken boats have been removed from the River Hull since last year, East Riding of Yorkshire Council says

Owners of 10 sunken boats in the River Hull are being sought by a council so the vessels can be removed in a bid to reduce the risk of flooding.

The boats, between Tickton and Beverley Beck, restrict the river flow and must be removed by the end of September, East Riding of Yorkshire Council said.

It said the removal was "the owners' responsibility".

The 10 remain from a total of 20 sunken vessels that have been subject to removal since last year.

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Two of the boats were "refloated and lifted from the river" by the council last September, while the remainder were "removed by another party", likely to be the owners, the authority said.

Image copyright East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Image caption The council is appealing for information to help find the owners of 10 sunken boats

All sunken vessels had to be removed before the migration of lampreys, which start in October.

Lampreys are a protected species of fish, whose migration period runs until February.

A spokesman for the council said the authority was in the process of applying for permits from the Environment Agency for the removal.

Sir Greg Knight MP, chairman of the River Hull Board, said removing the boats from the river was "a key part of helping to reduce the risk of flooding for hundreds of homes and businesses right along the River Hull".

The removals are part of a £45m package of works to manage the flood risk in the River Hull valley.

Other measures include raising the river banks at low spots on sections of the Beverley and Barmston Drain.

Image caption The removal process has to be completed by the end of the month so migrating lampreys are not disturbed, the authority says

The river runs for more than 20 miles (32 km) from the Yorkshire Wolds to the Humber Estuary.

In 2007, heavy rainfall caused Hull and the surrounding area to flood damaging thousands of properties.

The authority has appealed for anyone with information on the owners to contact the council's flood risk management team.

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