Lifebuoy stations plan after canal Ferrybridge death tragedy

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CASH seized from criminals is set to help fund two new lifebuoy stations to be installed next to a canal in Ferrybridge where a man from Pontefract died this week.

Police in Pontefract and Knottingley are helping fund the lifesaving equipment at the Knottingley and Goole Canal with money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Specialist underwater rescue teams and fire crews were called to Fishergate at Ferrybridge after reports of a man falling into water near the Golden Lion pub just after midnight on Tuesday.

Police divers recovered a man’s body from the canal on Wednesday afternoon.

He was yesterday (Jan 24) named by police as 34-year-old Stephen Doyle, of Kingsmead, Pontefract.

Police say lifebuoy stations next to the canal used to maintained by the Canal and Rivers Trust. But constant thefts and vandalism led to a decision being made in 2010 not to replace them.

The Golden Lion and Magnet pubs and the Ferrybridge Community Centre have pledged to raise funds to help pay for the new equipment.

Sgt Dan Jones of Pontefract and Knottingley Police, said: “The new lifeuoys have been funded by locals and are the property of the community. The hope is that there will be a greater degree of respect for the equipment which will hopefully prevent them being damaged or stolen.”

Firefighters from Pontefract are to explain basic lifesaving techniques to local residents, including the landlords of the Golden Lion and the Magnet.

And police community support officers are to visit schools in the area to warn children of the dangers of playing in or near the water.

Sgt Jones added: “Hopefully a tragedy like this can be prevented in future.”

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