Almost 50 people travelled from the North East to Manchester to campaign for canalside barriers after the death of a 19-year-old student.
Charlie Pope's body was found in the canal just off Whitworth Street West on 3 March after he went missing during a night out.
His father Nick Pope said "there's no way of getting out" of the canal.
Family and friends travelled from Charlie's hometown of Ponteland in Northumberland to where he died.
Mr Pope said: "There's no throw lines, there's no rubber rings, there's no way of getting out.
"If there is an incident people can at least try and save themselves, or be saved.
"If out of a tragedy like this something good can come and prevent unnecessary deaths, that would be a result."
Temporary barriers have been installed since Charlie's death.
Manchester Water Safety Partnership said it was looking into what further safety improvements might be needed.
Alona Ainsworth, who lives close to where Charlie died, started a petition calling for barriers to be installed.
It has had almost 55,000 signatures.
She said: "It gets to that point where someone goes missing and you instantly think they're going to be in the canal.
"To have to think that as a resident that lives here, you know something is seriously wrong. Someone needed to do something."