Incident 98/2016 – male mountain biker fell into empty canal

At 17:10 on this warm and sunny October evening the team was contacted by the North West Ambulance Service who were requesting our assistance at an incident on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury canal in Little Lever.

A 43 year old male mountain biker had been riding on the canal towpath with friends, near to the “Meccano Bridge” at Boscow Road, Little Lever. Apparently whilst riding he fell off the canal towpath, and into the canal basin below, which was drained and empty – a vertical drop of roughly 8 feet.

An NWAS RV senior paramedic was on scene, in the company of an NWAS operational manager from Bury, and our assistance was requested to extricate the male from the canal basin. The male had sustained at least a broken wrist; but due to the height of the vertical drop additional precautions were taken in respect of possible spinal injuries.


After initial treatment and pain relief administered by the NWAS staff, team members placed the casualty onto a vacuum mattress and then a SAR Alpine Lite stretcher, for evacuation out of the steep-sided canal basin. The casualty was then loaded on board our BM3 ambulance and was accompanied by the NWAS RV paramedic. He was then taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment for his injuries.


In total 18 team members and three team vehicles, one NWAS RV senior paramedic and one NWAS officer attended this incident, which was concluded at approximately 19:15.