You could be dead in minutes

Published: Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WITH the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal seeing seven deaths from drowning during the last ten years, Gloucester Live points out that 'you could be dead in minutes'.

It tells that is the message from groups highlighting the dangers of canals after yet another  body was pulled from the waterway near Gloucester yesterday, Alan Tilbury reports.

Not seen again

Diving teams were searching for Mark Freeman who was not seen again after a night out at various pubs with his friends, with a body being pulled out of the canal earlier today (Wednesday).

Official identification has not yet been made nor is it known how the man ended up in the waterway, but safety groups are highlighting the dangers of walking by the canal, especially at night time.

Scene of serenity

It is reported that though canals are often 'a scene of serenity and easy leisure, with nothing likely to disturb the water but a few birds or a canal boat ambling slowly by, canals are a big attraction across the country since their birth during the industrial age, but also a place of hidden danger if care is not taken'.

Just recently, Gloucester boater John Jones told that he fell in last week, but luckily someone was on hand to drag him out, stating that it is an 'incredibly dangerous' place.

Don't go near the edge

Lifeboat Operations Manager at Sharpness Station tells that 'at this time of year you could be dead within minutes. I would always tell people just don't go near the edge of the canal', adding:

"The banks are very slippy in places and there are lots of snags which you can trip on. There are also lots of hazards when you enter the water. You can easily get entrapped on something. There's a lot of stuff in there these days; shopping trolleys, fencing panels, bikes, even cars. Then there's the cold water. It can shock you and take all the air out of your lungs."

Canal & River Trust

Nick Worthington,  Canal & River Trust Waterway Manager warned:

"While we can't comment on the specifics of what has happened until a full investigation is carried out, our general advice is to always stay vigilant around the water.

"It can be much colder than expected, which can cause difficulties, and there might be under water obstructions."