CRT Advises Boaters to Wear Lifejackets in Tunnels

CRT Advises Boaters to Wear Lifejackets in Tunnels

07 January 2015

CRT has advised that lifejackets be worn when traveling through canal tunnels. This follows the release of the coroners report on the death of a boater in Harecastle Tunnel on the Trent & Mersey Canal in May 2014.

CRT reviewed tunnel safety as requested by the North Staffordshire coroner after the Harecastle Tunnel fatality. The steerer of a privately owned narrowboat was reportedly knocked from the boat when it collided with the wall in the section of the Tunnel where the roof is low. It was reported at the inquest that the boater’s wife and son could not call for help as they had no mobile phone signal in the tunnel. The boater’s body, which had suffered a broken neck, was recovered the following day.

The coroner’s report makes a number of recommendations including that lifejackets or buoyancy aids should be worn; that a telephone system or radio link should be installed in the tunnel; and that safety helmets should be loaned to those using the tunnel. CRT has considered the report and advised the wearing of lifejackets or buoyancy aids in canal tunnels.

Photo: Harecastle Tunnel, Trent & Mersey Canal (photo by Jacqui Hatcher)

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