A BARMAN helped rescue a team of rowers after their boat crashed into a barge outside the pub where he works.

The eight-person crew from the University of Worcester’s ladies’ rowing club collided with a barge moored outside The Camp House Inn at Grimley, while training on Saturday afternoon.

Josh Herbert, 25, who works at the pub on Friday nights, was there having a drink with his mum Katy Hollyoak, when the crash happened at around 2.30pm.

Mrs Hollyoak said the boat “split into two, and they all ended up in the water” with the current “horrifically strong”.

Mr Herbert then dashed to help pull three of them out, who Mrs Hollyoak described as "hanging on to the barge for dear life".

The barge, named the Showman Pub, was being towed from Stourport to Diglis that morning when the tug boat lost control outside The Camp.

It was pulled in by the tug boat but got stuck on landing platforms, and was jutting out into the river.

Mrs Hollyoak said, following the crash, the majority of the rowers swam over to the tug boat and used it to get out of the water.

But three of them drifted round and were clinging onto the barge.

Mr Herbert said there was a big commotion outside before someone began banging on the window shouting: “Get help! Get help!”

“I thought they had washed down the river,” he said.

The part-time barman, who also fits stone worktops, said he found the three rowers with their heads just above the water as they clung on.

“I got over the side of the boat and dragged the lad out,” he said.

He then helped other rescuers, including the tug boat crew, using a rope to pull out the two remaining women.

Josh Herbert rescues the remaining rowers from on board the Showman Pub. Video by Katy Hollyoak.

Jim Wainwright, The Camp landlord, said earlier that morning the barge and tug were seen “coming down cross ways on the river, completely out of control”.

He said later on, two rowing boats, including the one which capsized, came down the river together, with the first able to turn around safely without hitting the barge.

He questioned how safe it was on the river due to the strong tide and raised water levels.

“The river is up considerably, we’ve got three or four foot of flood water,” he said, adding: “The tide is up and very strong. It was frightening”.

None of the rowers were injured and were treated to hot drinks by the pub’s fire by staff.

A university spokeswoman said: “The ladies were unable to avoid the barge and had to take the decision to capsize into the water. We are grateful to the members of the public who were so quick to assist the rowers. The university’s usual investigation procedures are now being followed.”