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Windermere opens to learner rowers

Credit: PA

Cumbrians can learn to row on Windermere for the first time thanks to a new British Rowing-affiliated course.

The Learn to Row courses introduces people to the sport in crews of 4, with learn-to rowers of all ages.

Lakeland Rowing Club has raised £20,000 for two stable Swift quads, which 32 people will use as they begin learning to row over the next 5 weeks.

The work done over the past year has been really terrific from Lakeland Rowing Club.

The beautiful water in the Lake District has always shown much promise for rowing but has never until now taken off.

With the dedicated effort that Lakeland RC’s volunteers have been putting in to fund new equipment and up-skill volunteers with coaching qualifications, they will now be able to open up rowing to a larger audience on the lakes.”

– James Andrews, from British Rowing


Warning for boat owners on Windermere

Windermere Credit: ITV Border

Boat owners on Windermere are being warned to carry out safety checks on their vessels and make sure they're in full working order ahead of the boating season.

The warning from lake wardens follows the 2013 Windermere tragedy when a mother and daughter died from carbon monoxide poisoning because of a faulty generator on a private boat.

SLDC Lake Warden Martin Dodgson explained the most common problem the wardens are called out to are over-heated engines after winterisation.

He says it is essential to have all engines checked and serviced.

"A boat's fuel, gas and electrical systems should be checked and maintained on a regular basis. It is important to make sure there is fresh fuel in the engine after it has been unused for a prolonged period of time.

"Alarms and sensors should always be re-installed and tested after winterisation; all boats should have fire alarms and carbon monoxide sensors."

– SLDC Lake Warden Martin Dodgson

SLDC's Lake Wardens have this boat check list:

  • Check the water tank
  • Test carbon monoxide sensor
  • Check the skin fitting
  • Check gas and electrical systems -check them regularly and make sure there are no leaks
  • Check the engine and have it serviced
  • Check life jackets and make sure theyare in date - check them annually
  • Test smoke alarms - fire can spreadquickly on a boat, even on water

Life-saving buoys stolen from Windermere

Two buoyancy aids were taken Credit: South Lakeland District Council

Two potentially life-saving buoyancy aids have been stolen from a jetty in Windermere.

They were taken from the new floating jetty at Bark Barn, near Belle Grange on the western side of the lake, sometime between Tuesday 3 March and Monday 9 March.

The rescue buoys are designed to be thrown to people who are struggling in the water, and are worth around £100 each.

They had recently been donated.

“It really is disgusting that someone would do this.

"This is the first time I’ve known any life-saving equipment to be stolen from around the lake in my 20 years working here.’’

– Martin Dodgson, SLDC Lake Warden

Windermere and Furness Line to benefit

Credit: ITV Border

Windermere and the Furness Line will reportedly benefit from franchise plans announced by the Government this morning.

The new 'Northern Regional' service means that by December 2017, Windermere should have two trains per day to Manchester Airport from Monday to Friday.

It also means that the Furness line is expected to have eight trains a day to Manchester and Manchester Airport, as well as extra trains along the Cumbrian Coast that it's claimed will be timed to better serve workers' shift patterns.

£120k fine for council over bin lorry deaths

A Cumbrian council has been fined £120,000 after two women were killed by reversing bin lorries in the space of nine months.

South Lakeland District Council was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation that found the local authority had failed to tackle the risks from reversing vehicles.

Carlisle Crown Court heard the first incident happened on a single-track lane off Easedale Road in Grasmere on 2 June 2010. Mary Cook had been walking down the track while on holiday with her husband when she was struck by a reversing rubbish truck. The 54-year-old from Nottingham died from her injuries.

The driver pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving in a separate prosecution. However, the HSE investigation also found that it was normal practice for 7.5 tonne bin lorries to reverse down the long track to reach a holiday rental home, without a council employee walking behind to guide the driver.

The court was told the council should have reviewed all its bin collection rounds following the incident to eliminate reversing whenever possible, or to make sure employees guided drivers from behind vehicles when there was no other option but to reverse.

This did not happen and instead reversing was actually introduced at St Mary's School on Prince’s Road in Windermere where the second incident occurred.

The council had been carrying out fortnightly collections of recycling waste from outside the school gates for a term when it changed its system and instead began reversing the trucks onto the school grounds to collect the rubbish.

On 17 March 2011, council employee Dorothy Harkes, 58, from Ulverston, was walking behind a rubbish truck to guide the driver when she was struck, causing fatal injuries.

The driver of the vehicle was also convicted of causing death by careless driving but the HSE investigation concluded that there had been no need for council trucks to reverse onto the school grounds.

South Lakeland District Council was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

“Both the drivers have already admitted their part in Mary and Dorothy’s deaths but our investigation found the council had not done all it should have to protect the public and their employees from the danger of reversing rubbish trucks.

“The lane that Mary Cook and her husband had been walking along was heavily used by holidaymakers and yet the council failed to make sure measures were in place so that its vehicles could reverse safely.

“What’s particularly disappointing is that the council actually introduced reversing as part of its collection of recycling waste from St Mary's School, rather than trying to eliminate it wherever possible following Mary’s death.”

– Mark Dawson, HSE’s Principal Inspector for Cumbria and North Lancashire


Tributes paid to Windermere tractor crash victim

Elaine Steele, 59, died in a road traffic collision on the A591 near Windermere Credit: Cumbria Police

Tributes have been paid to a pedestrian who died in a crash involving a tractor and a car near Windermere.

Elaine Steele, 59, from Oxenholme, was killed in the collision on the A591 at Troutbeck Bridge at around 4:30pm on February 6. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement, the family of Elaine Steele said:

“Elaine was very kind to all that knew her, soft hearted and would do anything for anybody. Elaine worked at Whitecross Bay and was well liked by all that knew her. The tragic news has come as such a shock and all the family are devastated.”

– Family of Elaine Steele

Pedestrian killed in Windermere tractor crash

The crash involving a tractor occured on the A591 at Troutbeck Bridge, Windermere Credit: ITV

A pedestrian has died after being involved in a crash with a tractor and a car in Windermere.

The incident happened on the A591 at Troutbeck Bridge, Windermere at around 4:30pm on Friday. The pedestrian, a 59-year-old woman from the Kendal area, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both the driver of the tractor and the car were uninjured.

Any witnesses are being asked to contact Cumbria Police on 101.

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