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Teen ‘nearly dies’ as he leaves Nando’s and falls in canal he mistook for grass

Teen ‘nearly dies’ as he leaves Nando’s and falls in canal he mistook for grass

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A concerned mother said “something must be done” after her son almost died when he fell into a canal he mistook for grass – just half an hour before a father and son made the same mistake.

Her teenage son was walking home from a meal at Nando’s in Walsall, West Midlands, when he plummeted into the cold canal, which is currently plagued with weeds.

The 19-year-old could not swim and was only able to just keep his head above water until he was pulled out by a passer by.

His mum, who lives in Darlaston, and wished to remain anonymous, said it is “horrible thinking about what could have happened” and says her son is now traumatised.

She told Birmingham Live said: “This could happen to anyone, something needs to be done – or are they waiting for someone to fall in and die. I just thank God he came out with the help of friends and a passer by.

“I thought he was joking when he first told me. It gave him such a shock, it has left us all feeling shocked about what happened.”

The weeds have been cleared but could grow back within a couple of days

The mother-of-two said her son was soaking when he came home. He had visited the nearby Premier Inn, where hotel staff kindly provided towels so he could dry himself down a little.

On the very same night, Steve Worthington and his 11-year-old son Lewis stepped straight into the water.

The 41-year-old had to battle to keep his lad’s head above the water as they desperately tried to clamber to safety.

We just stepped straight in and went straight under the water,” he said.

“We have never been down there and we couldn’t see any warning signs in place. The whole area is thick green weeds – it looks just like grass.

“The water was freezing cold and me and we must have gone under quite a few times, it was so scary. We must have been struggling for like five minutes.”

Mr Worthington said he has since had nightmares since the plunge and his youngster is now mentally scared.

Steve Worthington and his son, Lewis, walked straight into the canal after mistaking the weeds as land

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A spokesman for the Canal & River Trust, which oversees the waterway near to the site, said: “We are aware that there is a problem with an overgrowth of weed in the basin, which can make it seem as though the area is covered in thick grass, hiding the water underneath.

“Safety signs have been installed at the basin warning people of the danger. Removing the weed is an ongoing battle and there will be a team from Canal & River Trust out in the basin to clear sections of the weed in the next few days.”

But Rebecca Whitehouse from the charity warned the weeds would likely be back soon. She added: “This weed is a ferocious grower and, as soon as we’ve cleared it, it grows back in a matter of days. Not only does the weed create a hazard as people and pets get confused thinking its grass, but it is also really costly to remove.”

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