Midnight kayakers rescued after getting stuck in North Staffordshire canal tunnel

Three kayakers had to be rescued after getting stuck in a North Staffordshire canal tunnel – at midnight.

Emergency services were called to Harecastle Tunnel in Kidsgrove at around 12am this morning after reports a group of kayakers had got into difficulty.

Firefighters on a boat were able to rescue the trapped men before they were safely recovered from water. The three men are not believed to have been submerged.

They were passed into the care of waiting paramedics who checked them over and discharged them at the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed one ambulance and two paramedic officers attended the incident.

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She said: “On crews’ arrival, fire colleagues were already in the water on a boat to rescue the trapped kayakers. Three men were all safely recovered from the canal.

“The men were handed over to ambulance staff for assessment. None of the patients were believed to have been submerged in the water and were discharged at the scene.”

A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We were called shortly after 11.45pm last night by colleagues at Staffordshire Police to reports of people being trapped in the Harecastle Tunnel in Kidsgrove.

“A water rescue unit from Newcastle was sent to the tunnel’s northern portal along with three pumps – with a further appliance being sent to the southern portal on stand-by.

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“Three males – two in a dingy and one in a kayak – were led to safety by our powered inflatable dinghy. They were then handed over to WMAS for check-ups before being discharged.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We were called shortly after 11.30pm last night to reports of people being trapped whilst kayaking in the Harecastle Tunnel in Kidsgrove.

“Officers supported colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue in ensuring the three males were led to safety. They were then handed over to WMAS for check-up before being discharged.”

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