Firefighters called as barge takes on water on canal in Wigan

A large number of firefighters descended on the canal to help when a barge started taking on water.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 8:23 am
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 12:27 pm
Firefighters working at the canal. Pic: Paul Ruddock at PR Photography

Crews were called to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Poolstock at 5.45pm on Saturday when the boat had problems going through a lock.

It had not gone through the lock gates far enough, got caught on a ledge under the water and the front of the barge started tipping, taking on water.

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A large number of fire crews attended

Two fire engines from Wigan, a specialist unit from Leigh and a boat unit from Eccles all attended to help.

They helped two people to get off the boat, isolated the battery and worked to remove the water onboard.

Kirsty and Paul Ruddock, who live nearby, gave a flask of tea, towels and socks to the people who were rescued, as they were wet and cold. They were with a black dog.

Mike Fairhurst, crew manager at Wigan fire station, said: "We turned up and tried to bail it out. We helped to pump it out, but unfortunately we weren't quick enough. It was taking on water faster than we could take it out.

"Due to losing the light, at about 7pm we had to call it a day. It's all cordoned off and we have reattended this morning to reassess it."

It is hoped the barge can be refloated and removed from the waterway.