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Cancer patients and survivors in Cumbria encouraged to attend event

'Open Space' events are for people to speak about their experiences with cancer Credit: Macmillan Cancer Support

Morecambe Bay Cancer Partnership and Macmillan Cancer Support are offering 'Open Space' events for people to speak about their experiences with cancer.

The events are planned to also address challenges people using local services have faced.

The next session will be taking place on Monday 24th of April between 4.15pm and 8.30pm at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal.

Morecambe Bay Walk returns to Lake District

The walk will be eight miles long, taking up to four hours to complete Credit: Friends of the Lake District

A sponsored walk across Morecambe Bay will be taking place next month.

The Morecambe Bay Walk will be lead by Cedric Robinson MBE, the Queen’s Official Guide to the Sands.

Charity, Friends of the Lake District, say it will take eight miles long and will take up to four hours to complete.

This year, they are hoping to raise £10,000, beating last year's funds of £8,000.

It will be held on Sunday 21st of May at 1.45pm, starting from Arnside Promenade and ending at Kent's Bank near Grange-over-Sands.

People are required to make a booking ahead of time.


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10 years since Morecambe Bay tragedy

23 Chinese cockle pickers died in the tragedy Credit: PA

Today marks a decade since the tragedy that took the lives of 23 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay.

They were working in the dark and faced a fast incoming tide. Emergency crews were called by one cockler who called 999 telling police: "Sinking water, many many, sinking water... Sinking water, sinking water."

Sadly only one cockle picker survived the disaster. The victims, aged between 18 and 45, were working for a gangmaster to send money back to their families.

Crews worked for 22 hours to recover the bodies and look for survivors Credit: PA

Michael Guy from the RNLI was out that night he told us his crew were confronted with a "sea of bodies." He went on to say "it was something no one had come across so in reality it's one of those things that generates memories and we have to live with them."

Following a trial gangmaster Lin Liang Ren was jailed for 21 counts of manslaughter, facilitating illegal immigration and perverting the course of justice and sentenced to 14 years at Preston Crown court.

Ordeal was 'horrendous' say RNLI crews Credit: PA

There has been no fishing in the bay for the past 5 years with fisherman in the area saying the tragedy also took their livelihoods. They claim if the beds were to re-open a similar disaster could happen again as the current permit system is not good enough to stop people cockling illegally.


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The Cockling Disaster: 10 Years On

With tides as high as a house that can sweep in as fast as a car, and quicksands capable of swallowing someone whole, Morecambe Bay is no place to put profit before people.

Ten years ago, a gangmaster did just that and killed 23 Chinese cockle pickers.

They were sent out with no knowledge of the area's hazards, no English-language skills, and - for some - no ability to swim.

A decade on, our correspondent Rob Smith has returned to the Bay to speak to those who tried to save the cocklers.

Medical Director to step down

Peter Dyer, Medical Director Credit: ITV Border

The Medical Director at the hospital trust in charge of Kendal's Westmorland General is to step down after two terms.

Peter Dyer will continue to work as a consultant surgeon, as well being involved in a review of education, training and research at the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust.

Last month the former chief executive of the Trust, Tony Halsall, stood down.

It followed critical reports from health watchdogs about maternity services, A&E staffing levels and out-patient appointments.

Sir David Henshaw, UHMBT chair, today thanked Mr Dyer for six years as Medical Director.

He added: “Peter has a passion for education and training and will be of real benefit to this forthcoming review."

The Trust will advertise for a new permanent Medical Director.

New warnings for hospital trust

A health watchdog has issued two more warning notices against a south Lakes hospital Trust.

The Care Quality Commission says patient monitoring needs to be improved at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust.

Patients should also not be placed in mixed sex accommodation.

The Trust - whose chief executive resigned last month - says it's working to improve things.

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