THE cost of hauling a transit van out of the River Thames in central Oxford this week was covered by the driver's insurance, it has been confirmed.

The Environment Agency (EA), which coordinated the operation on Monday, has confirmed it after liaised with the van owner’s insurance company, which paid for its removal.

The owner drove the van into the river in the early hours of Saturday, April 18, and was then rescued from the sinking vehicle by resident Dale Chamberlain.

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The EA added: "Recovery was delayed until now due to the river conditions and the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

"The crane operator also took the opportunity to remove various other items from the river, including hire bikes and a stolen motorcycle."

Oxford Mail:

It is still not clear why the van driver ended up going into the river, and police have not provided any information.

Andrew Billen, who lives nearby and took these photos of the operation on Monday, said locals were glad that the eyesore van had finally be pulled out of the river so it was not long a pollution hazard.