Hereford & Worcester

Droitwich canal narrowboat death was accident

Sunken canal boat
Image caption Alan Green went back into the cabin to collect some personal possessions and was drowned

A man whose narrowboat sank died as the result of an accident, a coroner has ruled.

Alan Green, 49, drowned after saving his mother and dog on the Droitwich canal on 25 July.

He was navigating through a lock when the rudder became trapped in the gates and prevented the barge rising as the lock filled with water, an inquest at Worcestershire Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Green went back into the cabin to collect some personal possessions.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Alan Green drowned after saving his mother and dog, friends have said

Speaking in July, following the death, friends told the BBC that after helping his mother and dog to safety, he got back inside the boat to salvage items but could not get out as it filled with water.

Paramedics battled for 40 minutes to resuscitate Mr Green but he died at the scene, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

Image caption Mr Green was navigating his narrowboat through a lock on the Droitwich canal

Following the inquest, Tony Stammers, head of health and safety at the Canal and River Trust, said: "Mr Green's death is tragic and our thoughts remain with his family and friends.

"We carried out a full investigation at the time to establish whether the condition of the lock could have meant the events of July were avoided. As reflected in the coroner's judgement, there were no structural issues with the lock that contributed to the chain of events that occurred.

"Incidents like this are very rare on the nation's canals. We'll continue to work with boaters, experts and local communities to ensure the waterways can remain safe and enjoyable places for people to visit."

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