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Water safety devices to be installed near Victoria Park in Newbury



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WATER safety devices are to be installed on the Kennet and Avon Canal near Victoria Park.

The throw lines, rope with a weighted bag and handles, are to be installed on either side of the waterway in Newbury.

The move comes following the death of three-year-old Dylan Milsom, who drowned in the canal in March after tripping on a tuft of grass while feeding ducks near the weir and A339 bridge.

Canal and River Trust's Mark Evans and Shaun Swain, Laura Farris MP and Dean Adlem (Canal & River Trust) inspect the new railings at Newbury on June 2. (47849621)
Canal and River Trust's Mark Evans and Shaun Swain, Laura Farris MP and Dean Adlem (Canal & River Trust) inspect the new railings at Newbury on June 2. (47849621)

A water safety partnership was established following Dylan's death, and new safety railings were recently installed near the weir.

The announcement also coincides with Drowning Prevention Week from June 19 to 26.

Fire education coordinator at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Neil Whiteman, said that the throw lines would be installed near the weir and will coincide with an event on how to use them and general water safety.

The lines will have an identity marker on them to relay to the emergency services during a 999 call, which Mr Whiteman said would "cut down the time scale to get to the incident faster."

A date was not provided for installation but Mr Whiteman said it would be "very soon, sooner rather than later."

He added that trees would be cleared from below the weir, saying "although not related to the incident, it's sensible to clear the river of trees downstream of the weir."



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