A sunken canal boat that was winched out of the Thames yesterday is expected to be removed from the towpath by Botley Bridge in the coming week.

Engineers will load One Old Peculier onto a low-load vehicle with a crane before it is taken to a boat-yard where owner John Simmonds, 35, can collect it. 

Environment Agency spokesman Dan Taylor said: "The boat is going to stay where it is until we have arranged for a crane to come along and lift it onto a low loader.

"This shouldn't mean any delays for the road, perhaps only temporarily while we get the crane on and off the site.

"Then the owner can make arrangements to get it back."

Mr Simmonds, who has Asperger’s syndrome, was devastated when the boat left its moorings on Monday after what he believes was an act of sabotage.

He had only left his £60,000 boat for half an hour to get some lunch but returned to find it adrift.

The 35-year-old, who is now staying with friends, has since received an “overwhelming” number of pledges  including a cheque for £25,000.

This brings the total amount raise to over £27,000.