Boat death in­ci­dents were ‘ac­ci­den­tal’, say in­quests

Canal Boat - - News -

TWO SEP­A­RATE IN­QUESTS have come to the same con­clu­sion about fa­tal ac­ci­dents on the in­land wa­ter­ways last July – in both cases, the deaths were ‘ac­ci­den­tal’.

Alan Green, 49, drowned af­ter his nar­row­boat’s rud­der be­came caught in the clos­ing bot­tom gates of a lock on the Droitwich Junc­tion Canal (hav­ing not been pro­tected from this by fend­ers), caus­ing the boat to be pulled un­der­wa­ter as the level rose.

Mr Green res­cued his mother and dog, but the boat sank as he re­turned for valu­ables. A Worces­ter­shire Coroner recorded a ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death. The same ver­dict was recorded for 80-year-old Mar­garet San­der­son, who was re­vers­ing a nar­row­boat to pick up her hus­band who had been oper­at­ing a swing­bridge on the Mac­cles­field Canal when she fell into the canal. Her cloth­ing be­came caught in the pro­pel­ler (which was still turn­ing in re­verse), it took Mr San­der­son ten min­utes to free her and help her to the bank with the aid of po­lice and a passer-by. By the time she could be taken to hospi­tal she had “sus­tained in­juries that she was un­able to re­cover from” (in the words of the Coroner) and died the fol­low­ing day.

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