Pennine Waterways News

Monday, 6 October 2008

Two Women Rescued in Canal Plunge Drama

Two women were rescued from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal last week following a bizarre freak accident.

The two women, Jackie Lewis, who was in a motorised scooter, and her carer, Catrina Paton were visiting the Kirklees area from Devon. During a visit to Tunnel End, near Marsden, they were exploring the canal towpath when they were caught in a sudden heavy shower. Reports suggest that while they were hurrying back to their car, a gust of wind blew Jackie's hood over her eyes, causing her to veer off the towpath into the canal, knocking Catrina into the water as well.

At the point where this happened, the towpath is around 6 feet above the water so neither lady was able to climb out. Their shouts were heard and the alarm was raised. A visitor ran round and threw a life ring for the women to hold onto and three British Waterways staff rushed from nearby Tunnel End Cottage bringing a pole. They were able to pull the two women to a point where they could be pulled out of the water and taken back to the BW office until the ambulance arrived.

Fortunately the place where they fell in is a winding hole (boat turning point) so the water was deep. Had they fallen from a height into shallow water they could have sustained injury.

The fire brigade was alerted and a full water rescue procedure initiated, with fire engines sent from Marsden and Slaithwaite and special units from Brighouse, Cleckheaton and Bingley. Fortunately these were not needed thanks to the prompt action of the British Waterways staff.

It was reported that BW send their Health and Safety specialists to visit the scene on Thursday and that they are looking into the possibility of putting railings along the edge of the towpath at this location.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment on this item.

If you do not have a Blogger/Google etc account, then please click on "Name/URL" and type in your name or nickname.

If you have no URL you can leave that part blank.

Please do not post as "Anonymous".