I was going for a walk the other day along the bank of the Trent and Mersey canal which is a few yards from my home. I didn't get far however, when I saw a couple of police officers walking towards me. As they got closer, the helicopter of the Air Ambulance took off from a field by the other side of the canal. As it flew off in the direction of the North Staffs. Hospital, I was filled with a feeling of dread for the casualty.
The police officers explained that someone had suffered an injury whilst driving a narrowboat along the canal, and the paramedics with the Air Ambulance had attended to the casualty and sent him for treatment at the hospital. I understand that the injury wasn't life - threatening, so let's hope the injured man will be alright.
For those who may not know, a narrowboat is another name for a traditional canal barge, which were used as working boats in the past.They are comparatively narrow to allow them to navigate the many locks. A lot of the old boats have been restored for pleasure use, and tourists from all over the world hire them.
So, an idyllic trip along the canal was brought to an abrupt end for someone. This is normally a serene type of activity, and accidents are rare. Any prospective hirers of canal boats are given thorough instruction on how to navigate the waters, particularly with operating the locks, which are there to allow for differences in gradient.
Fortunately in these days of technology, the mobile phone merits its worth, as some parts of the canal system can be fairly remote, and are not often close to roads. I'm sure that the casualty and his loved ones are very grateful for their being an Air Ambulance, as being located where they were, it would have been difficult to get the necessary assistance.