Plea to prevent repeat of Rotherham canal tragedy after boy’s death

People bring flowers to the scene in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where an 11 year old boy has drowned in a canal. Pic: Glen Minikin

People bring flowers to the scene in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where an 11 year old boy has drowned in a canal. Pic: Glen Minikin

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Parents have been urged to warn their children of the dangers of open water following the tragic drowning of an 11-year-old boy in a Rotherham canal.

Subhaan Ali died on Thursday night after entering a canal behind the Parkgate Retail Park at around 7pm.

The circumstances of the incident, which happened in the first week of the summer holidays, remain under investigation.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue group manager Stewart Nicholson said he hoped the tragedy would not be repeated again this summer.

He said: “It just reinforces at this time during the summer months and the school holidays the hazards of open water.

“Last year alone we undertook nine water rescues in open water, predominantly through the summer months.

“It just reiterates everyone wants to prevent these tragedies.

“Everyone should talk to their families and young children about the risks and the hazards associated with entering open water - the hidden obstacles under the water and the under-current and tides in the water - to prevent another such tragedy happening.”

Emotional tributes have been paid to Subhaan, who lived a few hundred yards away from the canal on Eldon Road in Eastwood.

Local people began to lay flowers at the scene of the tragedy on Friday afternoon. One tribute read: “RIP Subhaan. I will always miss you and be your mate forever.”

Tributes on social media described him as a ‘lovely little boy’.

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