A barge has become lodged in the Basingstoke canal near Odiham this morning.

The canal authority has advised all users to stay off the canal whilst a rescue operation is mounted.

It comes after the giant container ship Ever Given becoming stuck in the Suez Canal made international headlines last week.

It is believed that the Surrey-based 'Bargey McBargeface' became lodged in the canal near to Colt Hill Wharf this morning, whilst on a morning cruise to Greywell.

But a strong gust of wind meant it became lodged and unable to free itself, shortly before 7am this morning, April 1.

All traffic on the historic canal, which in a former life was used to transport goods to the market town of Basingstoke, has been halted.

Speaking exclusively to The Gazette, captain of the stricken barge, Admiral Getts Stucc-Allott said that he was sorry for the disruption caused.

"The gust came out of nowhere," he said, "and before I knew it I was in the wall.

"I tried getting the ship free but I just could not budge it.

"I thought the Basingstoke canal would be a good training ground after what happened to me last week in the Suez canal, but apparently not," Admiral Stucc-Allott continued.

"I'm really sorry to all the people who use the canal regularly. There were quite a few kayakers not best pleased with me this morning."

The removal of the barge is proving challenging for the canal authority as it is wedged in a similar fashion to that seen in the Suez canal last week.

Events in Egypt were thought to cost $9 billion dollars in international trade per day - although the Basingstoke blockage, as it has been touted, is thought to have affected £3.73 of cross-border Hampshire-Surrey trade.

Update: Well done to our readers who spotted that this was an April Fool's Day story.