Tragedy as dad drowns in canal four weeks after 22-year-old died in same spot

Tragedy as dad drowns in canal four weeks after 22-year-old died in same spot

 

A dad who lived for his kids drowned in a canal just four weeks after another man drowned on the same stretch of water, an inquest heard.

Mikey Greenall, 27, fell in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal near lock 77 on the evening of September 18, 2020.

It comes weeks after Matt Dutton, 22, died after falling in and drowned close to lock 79, reports Manchester Evening News.

Now a senior coroner is writing a letter of concern after the two men drowned just yards from one another within the space of a month.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that the two locks are located on the same stretch of canal in Wigan, Greater Manchester, and are just ‘yards’ away from each other.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Greenall’s childhood sweetheart Alex Ince said: “He was a great dad, he lived for his kids. He was a great partner as well.”

Mr Greenall’s parents added: “We couldn’t have asked for a better son. He is missed and loved by us every day.”

The court heard how Mr Greenall had finished work at around lunch-time on September 18.

Miss Ince, also the mother of their two children, said he enjoyed a pint on a Friday but would come home to help with the school run.

She added that when he returned home he was “in a very good mood”.

Later in the evening, the couple went to the Whitesmiths Arms pub where they had an argument about him spending too much time on the fruit machines.

Miss Ince said Mr Greenall walked off and that she presumed he would go to his mum’s or a friend’s house, as he often did after arguments.

But the next morning, he had not returned home and Miss Ince reported him missing.

Police found Mr Greenall’s body in the canal on September 23.

The inquest heard that Mr Greenall was “outgoing” and “very popular”.

Miss Ince also said that she was never aware of him having any history of mental illness.

He had recently struggled to sleep and started self-medicating with diazepam, which had not been prescribed to him.

A report prepared by Mr Greenall’s GP at Longshoot Health Centre revealed that he had self-presented with mental health issues in 2016.

Senior coroner for Manchester West Timothy Brennand said: “It seems in relation to that, that he was at a low point in his life and behaved in a bizarre and surreal way.”

Police coroner’s officer Stefan Wilson told the court that on the day of his death, Mr Greenall had taken several diazepam tablets and drank around seven pints.

Following a post mortem, Dr Naveen Sharma recorded the cause of death as drowning.

Mr Brennand concluded that Mr Greenall’s death was an accident and drew parallels with the death of Mr Dutton.

He said: “By reason of the deceased’s self-induced intoxication, he became incapacitated, confused and disoriented when attempting to walk to an acquaintance’s house, falling in a canal and drowning.

“The precise location and circumstances in which he fell into the canal cannot be established.”

Miss Ince told the court that a petition has been set up to try and get barriers or lighting put up along the canal.

She added: “It’s pitch black there, you can’t even see your hand in front of your face.”

In response, Mr Brennand said he would write to the Canal and River Trust and Wigan Council to raise his concerns in relation to the issue and double tragedy.

He added: “Open stretches of water can kill.

“I will write with immediate effect to the two agencies I have indicated and within the context of my letter I will express my own concerns with the issue of water safety.”

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