Manchester

Salford Quays locked lines to replace buoys damaged by 'idiots'

Lifebuoy on Salford Quays Image copyright Google
Image caption Councillor David Lancaster said it was "very sad" that the buoys had to be replaced

Lifebuoys positioned on Salford Quays are to be replaced by throw lines in locked cabinets because "idiots" keep vandalising them, the council has said.

Salford City Council is to spend almost £34,000 replacing 77 of the rescue aids with 40 throw lines.

Councillor David Lancaster said using secure cabinets would mean there would be more chance of a person in the water receiving the help they need.

Water safety campaigner Beckie Ramsay said the move "will save lives".

People will only be able to access the new boxes by unlocking them with a code they get by calling 999.

Image caption Beckie Ramsay said throw lines were "much easier to use than lifebuoys"

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Lancaster said it was "a very sad day when we have to consider such measures because of idiots... but we can't carry on like this".

He said it might "take seconds to make the call... but if the life ring is missing because it has been vandalised, then there is no help available for the person in the water".

"Using secure cabinets to protect throw lines means they have a chance."

Image copyright Salford City Council
Image caption Salford City Council plans to spend £34,000 replacing lifebuoys

Ms Ramsay, whose 13-year-old son Dylan drowned at Hill Top Quarry in 2011, said it was "tragic" the rings had been vandalised, but said the new equipment would "save lives".

"Throw lines are much easier to use than lifebuoys and mean people don't have to get in the water and put their lives at risk too," she said.

She added that locked cabinets meant the lines would "definitely be there and it will have a location code, which is really important as it means emergency services will get there quicker".

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