Wigan firm proving to be a life-saver after series of drownings

A Reach and Rescue Portsafe
A Reach and Rescue Portsafe

A Wigan firm which builds life-saving water rescue equipment issued fresh safety calls following a spate of drownings across the region.


The summer may be nearing its end, but heatwaves continue to tempt many into a dip in bodies of cold water such as reservoirs.

Other news: Wigan hygiene ratings: Latest results

A spokesman for Reach and Rescue, which makes award-winning water safety devices from its Worthington Way base, said said on its website: “Last month we debated the possibility of the UK being in the midst of a water safety crisis due to the tragic spate of accidental drownings occurring nationwide on a weekly basis".

“Since that particular news update was published at the start of July, the stream of serious water-related incidents shows no sign of slowing down. And the North West is no stranger to accidental drowning.

“What is clear is the burgeoning wave of accidental drowning across Greater Manchester has pushed the issue of public water safety to prominence.”

Councillors and emergency services across the region, together with national waterway charities and urban development organisations, have begun the process of dramatically improving water safety by installing Reach and Rescue’s innovative solution – the Portsafe.

This is a public-access water rescue system designed to provide emergency services and members of the public a crucial opportunity to conduct swift and directionally-accurate rescues by giving them permanent access to effective rescue equipment. It securely houses a long-reach telescopic rescue pole, an emergency throwline or both inside vandal-proof lockable boxes that are accessible via a code granted by quoting the Portsafe’s location number to the emergency services.

Two have been placed in central Manchester including one on Canal Street where there have been several drownings.