Another pushed into the canal in Birmingham

Published: Friday, 13 August 2021

YET AGAIN teenagers have pushed a man off the towpath into the Birmingham & Worcester Canal.

This following on a similar incident when a cyclist was forced to swim to safety after being pushed into the same stretch of canal by a gang of youths in June, a 68 years old Birmingham doctor feared for his life when a gang of teenagers pushed him into the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Selly Oak, then ran away laughing, Keith Gudgin reports.

Might not have made it

Dr Neil Thomas, who was fishing from the towpath nearly drowned after being pushed into the canal, he telling:

“I can’t swim very well and was weighed down by my boots, fishing vest and rucksack,"

“I was also holding on to my fishing rod. I floundered around, swallowed a large mouthful of canal water and somehow managed to get back to the towpath-side of the canal. If the water had been a couple of feet deeper, I might not have made it."

DrPushedCanlDr Thomas was fishing close to the Bristol Road Bridge on the afternoon of the 10th August when he was attacked, telling that had the water been a couple of feet deeper he could have drowned, but managed to struggle out.

Head first into the canal

It was a gang of around six teenagers between 14 and 16 years old, that approached him on the towpath before one of them shoved him very firmly from behind going head first into the canal, choosing to target him when no one was on the towpath to witness.

Dr Neil Thomas, 68, is a university lecturer and told that with his sodden clothes and heavy boots he could not climb out of the canal and was also distraught because he had lost his spectacles and the canal water was too deep for him to try to recover them.

After struggling he was helped out of the water by two cyclists, who let him use their phone to contact the police.

Warn people who use towpath

He told that he wants to warn other people who use the canal towpath that there is a gang out there pushing people in for kicks.

A police spokesman told that though 'fortunately he wasn’t injured but clearly this was potentially very dangerous'.

This follows yet a further similar incident where a fisherman on the towpath in Liverpool was pushed into the water by a teenager, but caught on social media and he was sentenced to jail.