Lock accident claims man’s life

Lock accident claims man’s life

A MAN died in a canal boat accident in Ravensthorpe last Sunday while trying to open a lock.

Charles Newby, 60, of Gomersal, fell into the Aire and Calder Navigation near Calder Road at around 8pm.

It sparked a frantic search by a crewmate and specially-trained water rescue firefighters.

Just before the incident another man on board, aged 32, climbed off the boat to release the lock.

As they worked to open the gates the older man plunged into the water – and the younger man dived in to try to rescue him.

He could not find the victim so pulled himself out and raised the alarm by flagging down a passing taxi.

Fire crews, including one from Mirfield, searched in darkness above and below the Calder Road bridge where the man was thought to have fallen in.

A police helicopter using searchlights and thermal imaging equipment alerted them to a possible body in the water.

An inflatable rescue sled was launched with fire officers and an ambulance team on board.

However no-one was found and eventually the rescue team and a second inflatable were deployed several hundred yards away.

This time the man was found and pulled from the water unconscious by fire crews and paramedics.

He was given CPR at the scene near Ravensthorpe Industrial Estate, off Lock Way, and then taken to Pinderfields Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Det Insp Andy Leonard, of Kirklees CID, said there were no suspicious circumstances.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned.

Photo by Ash Milnes

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