I found out today that a colleague ended up in the canal yestereve. He's OK but has a nasty bang on the head, a reshaped bike and a soaked iPhone. Apparently this is what happened: A barge was moored up and the mooring rope was completely across the towpath and secured to a tree. It was lying flat on the ground until just before my colleague reached it at which point the barge moved away from the bank thus tightening the rope and lifting it. The inevitable happened and my colleague went over the handlebars, headbutted the boat and ended up in the drink. He's OK fortunately, but could have drowned, fractured his skull, etc. The bike is damaged but I don't know to what extent. Now, is a boat driver allowed to drape a mooring rope across the towpath? I've only ever seen boats moored up to rings or posts on the waters edge. I.e., is it rider / walker beware or is the boat driver at fault?