Birmingham & Black Country

Safety calls after multiple Walsall canal falls

Before the clean-up Image copyright Canal and River Trust
Image caption People have mistaken the weed in the water for concrete or grass

There are calls for greater safety measures around a canal after multiple people fell into the water.

People walking around the Waterfront in Walsall have mistaken weed on the water for grass or asphalt and fallen in.

The Canal and River Trust said volunteers have since cleared 60 tonnes of weed from the water and signs have been put up to warn passersby.

But one man who fell into the canal with his son says barriers should be put up to prevent further accidents.

Image copyright Canal and River Trust
Image caption Sixty tonnes (60,000kg) of weed has now been cleared from the water, the Canal and River Trust said

Steve, 41, and his son were visiting for the first time from Wednesbury, West Midlands, and in the "poor light" stepped into the canal at 20:00 BST on 4 October.

He said he was submerged in the water and had to push his son out before levering himself out.

"I have had nightmares ever since and my son is having counselling at school," he added.

He said there should be barriers put alongside the canal to prevent it happening again, saying the signs were not enough.

"My concern is someone pushing a baby in a pram goes in there," he added.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption Steve said it was "poorly lit" when he and his son fell into the water

Kayleigh Nelson, who works in Bar 10 close to the canal, said she understands about eight or nine people have fallen in the past three weeks, including two children.

"I have been here two years and I have never seen anyone go in before," she said.

"The thing is, everyone thinks it looks like Astroturf because it is covered in the moss."

You may also be interested in:

Image copyright Canal and River Trust
Image caption Volunteers from the Canal and River Trust have since cleared the water

The Canal and River Trust said the weed is a "ferocious grower" which can come back within days during warmer weather.

It added: "While the cooler weather should slow the growth, we will continue to remove it when necessary."

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites