Stoke & Staffordshire

Call for better safety measures after two deaths at Stoke-on-Trent lake

Westport Lake
Image caption Two people have died at Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent in a year

Campaigners are calling for better safety measures around a lake after two deaths in a year.

The body of 13-year-old Ryan Evans was found in Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent on 27 June 2018, while, on Sunday, a man in a wheelchair died when he fell into the water.

Local campaigners have called for life buoys or patrols to be put in place, following the latest death.

The council said it will continue to review safety measures.

Ryan's body was found two days after he was seen "in distress" while swimming with friends in the lake.

A coroner gave a verdict of accidental death.

Image caption Jeff Sheldon-Gwinneth has called for better safety measures around all areas of open water in Stoke-on-Trent

Almost a year on, a man, who Staffordshire Police said is still to be formally identified, was helped from the water by members of the public after he fell at about 11:20 BST.

He was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital where he later died.

Local man Jeff Sheldon-Gwinneth started a petition for better safety measures around the lake following Ryan's death.

He said: "What I am imploring Stoke-on-Trent City Council to do is act on this latest tragedy before another tragedy happens.

"It is not going to cost thousands to put life buoys or a patrol around these lakes."

Image caption Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said it would continue to reviewing safety measures

The authority introduced free swimming lessons for children following Ryan's death.

Council leader Abi Brown said: "Following the very tragic death of Ryan Evans last year, we carried out a review of what was happening there, we listened very carefully to what the coroner said and I am sure that as more details occur from the tragic events this weekend we will continue to do the same."

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