Boat death incidents were ‘accidental’, say inquests
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.