Canal charity gives public safety boost to Carr Mill Reservoir, St Helens

Public safety at Carr Mill Reservoir, on the outskirts of St Helens, has had a boost with the installation of three new safety throw lines on the banks of the popular Merseyside beauty spot.

The Canal & River Trust charity, which cares for this reservoir and 2,000 miles of waterways, has worked closely with Merseyside Fire and Rescue to provide the most effective safety equipment for Carr Mill.

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The emergency throw lines are located on three separate display boards around the lake and access to them can be gained quickly be phoning 999 for a punch code to release them for use.

Julia Shelley, area operations manager for the Canal & River, said: “Reservoirs and waterways can be appealing, particularly on hot summer days.  However, our advice is never to go in for a swim. The water is icy cold most of the year round and even the strongest swimmer can easily get into difficulties.

“Carr Mill is a popular venue for watersports and angling. We hope these new safety throw lines will never have to be used but if the worst happens, and someone accidently falls in, they could save someone’s life.”

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Steve Thomas from Merseyside Fire and Rescue added: “I am very grateful to Julia and her team from the Canal & River Trust for installing these potentially lifesaving pieces of equipment.

“Members of the public should remain vigilant however and be very aware of the dangers of swimming in open water, particularly relating to cold water shock, even during spells of fine weather. I am very pleased that MFRS and the Canal & River Trust have been able to join forces as members of the Mersey Water Safety Forum and look forward to continued successes.”

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    Originally a mill pond powering Carr’s Corn Mill, the lake was hugely expanded in the 1750s to provide water for the Sankey Canal about a mile away. This is no longer navigable but the reservoir has now become a popular venue for angling and water sports, as well as a great habitat for wildlife.

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    The Canal & River Trust is currently carrying out a major upgrade to the reservoir infrastructure in a two phase project which is costing over £1 million and lasting until December 2020.

    For more information about the Canal & River Trust check out the website www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.

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