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Canal safety plea issued after man is rescued from city centre towpath

Borough: Manchester

Incident Date: 23 December 2014

AN 18-year-old man was rescued from the towpath of the Rochdale Canal earlier today, Tuesday, December 23, after he fell 12 feet from the pavement and hurt his back.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service received a call just after 3.45am to an incident in Princess Street, Manchester, and mobilised crew from Manchester Central Fire Station as well as two technical rescue units from Ashton and Leigh and a water incident unit from Eccles.

On arrival, firefighters found the man lying 12 feet down on the towpath where he had fallen from the pavement, over a wall and down the embankment onto the towpath. Luckily he had not dropped into the water but had sustained suspected spinal injuries in the fall.

Paramedics from North West Ambulance Service were already in attendance at the scene and had placed the man onto a stretcher.

Crew set up a line rescue system using rope to raise the man on the stretcher safely to the pavement where North West Ambulance Service provided immediate treatment and he was transferred to Royal Manchester Hospital.

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “This man was incredibly lucky that he didn’t fall into the canal.

“He was rescued thanks to the expertise of our firefighters and paramedics, but had he fallen into the water the outcome could have been very different.

“If you’re out in the city centre over the festive period please take care around the city’s waterways.

“Never take shortcuts along canal towpaths or canal locks when you’re drunk. You might think you can get home quicker – the reality is you might never get home again.” 

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:38
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