Hereford & Worcester

Man dies after narrowboat sinks at Droitwich canal lock

Narrowboat in drained lock
Image caption The lock was drained and firefighters boarded the narrowboat

A man has died after his narrowboat sank while going through a canal lock.

The lock at the Droitwich Junction Canal, off the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, was drained and the body recovered from the vessel by firefighters.

Paramedics from West Midlands Ambulance Service tried to save the man but he was confirmed dead at the scene.

An elderly woman who was also on board the boat managed to get off before it sank and was unharmed.

The Canal and River Trust, which looks after the canal, said it would assist with any investigation.

Image caption The incident happened at lock five at the Droitwich Junction Canal

A witness at the scene saw the boat "right at the bottom of the lock" and called an ambulance.

"[There were] two people on it - one at the front and one at the back. They were trying to fight their way through the debris which was floating around in the boat.

"There was nothing I could do really," he said.

'Rare'

A trust spokeswoman said: "We're deeply saddened to hear that someone has lost their life on the canal, and our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time.

"Incidents like this are rare, and while there's no indication there's a problem with the canal, we'll be looking at whether there's anything we can do to prevent this kind of thing happening again in future."

The trust, formerly British Waterways, said Droitwich Canals reopened in 2011.

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