Canal barriers ‘can save lives’

Barriers installed along a canal where a 19-year-old student was found dead will help save lives, his father said.

Nick Pope, whose son Charlie died when he fell into a Manchester canal in March 2018, said he hoped the fencing would “keep people safe in Manchester”.

“Everybody is responsible for their own personal safety but accidents can happen… I firmly believe it will save lives,” said Mr Hope.

The fence will direct people to cross the canal using an existing footbridge.

Charlie, from Ponteland in Northumberland, died after going missing during a night out.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s Station Manager David Wilson, who is the Chair of the Manchester Water Safety Partnership, said: “The Manchester Water Safety Partnership was formed in 2015 in response to several deaths in central Manchester waterways, with the group represented by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council, Canal & River Trust, CityCo, the Royal Life Saving Society UK and Peel Holdings. We all meet regularly and work together to help make Manchester’s waterways safer – with the focus on the city-centre, where sadly a number of people have lost their lives over the years.

“The installation of the barriers in key areas along the city-centre canals is a huge step forward to improve water safety for the public of Greater Manchester. Nick Pope, whose son, Charlie, drowned in the city-centre following a night out, deserves great credit for the way he has worked tirelessly to improve water safety over the past year. I would also like to add my personal thanks to everybody who works in and supports the Partnership who have shown an absolute commitment to improving water safety in the city-centre.”

Read about summer water safety advice.