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Mersey Duck Boats "extremely poorly maintained"

A report into the sinking of an amphibious tour bus in Liverpool's Albert Dock has said its extremely fortunate no one drowned or was injured. The Duck tour craft got into difficulties in June 2013. 33 passengers and crew were forced to abandon the ship when it sank. The report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said the craft were poorly maintained and for nearly 14 years they had operated with insufficient buoyancy foam to keep them afloat should they suffer major damage.

33 people had to abandon the craft when it sank in June 2013 Credit: PA

Campaign to scrap joint enterprise law

The Justice Committee is calling for an urgent review of a law which allows gang members present at the scene of a murder to be jailed. It follows a campaign from the mother of one of one teenager who was jailed over the death of Gary Newlove in Warrington, 7 years ago. Janet Cunliffe, the mother of Jordan Cunliffe wants the notion of "joint enterprise" scrapped. Her son was convicted because he failed to prevent other members of the group committing the crime. Alan Beith is the Chairman of the Justice Committee.

Text Santa helping Teenage Cancer Trust

Amy Heatman Credit: ITV news

When Amy Heatman was just 17 years old, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She says she couldn’t believe it: ‘’I thought, I’m only 17, surely they’ve got it wrong but when doctors confirmed it, I was in too much shock to even cry.’’

There was further devastating news - Amy was told she would have to have a hysterectomy. ‘’I didn't know what a hysterectomy was so the doctor had to explain it to me. I was heartbroken because I had always wanted a family.’’

Eighteen months of chemotherapy treatment followed. Amy was able to have this on the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology. The ward is specially designed for teenage cancer patients –so they can be treated alongside people their own age, in an environment designed just for them.

Teenage Cancer Trust wards are specially designed for young people.

Amy says being able to meet other people in her age group who were going through similar situations helped her through her treatment: ‘’we could just tell each other everything and everyone understood everything so we’ve made lifelong friends.’’

Teenage Cancer Trust’s vision is a future where young people’s lives don’t stop because they have cancer.

They bring young people together to be treated by teenage cancer experts, alongside people their own age, in an environment designed just for them - giving them the best quality of life and the greatest possible chance of survival.

Text Santa 2014

The charity is one of those being helped by Text Santa this year. You can find out more about this year's charities by clicking here

Text Santa: How your donations will help the blind and partially sighted get a canine companion

This week on Granada Reports we'll be hearing about some of the charities being helped by Text Santathis year. One of those is Guide Dogs for the blind, or partially sighted. The specially trained dogs help make everyday tasks like crossing the road easier. Victoria Grimes has been to a training school in Liverpool to find out more.


Charity Guide Dogs to be helped by Text Santa

New guide dogs in training in Liverpool Credit: ITV News

Every hour, someone in the UK loses their sight and Guide Dogs is there to support them every step of the way.

180,000 people with sight loss rarely leave home alone. Guide Dogs offers services to tackle this issue, empowering people who are blind or partially sighted to live life as they choose. This includes the guide dog service.

Guide dogs can transform the lives of those who are blind or partially sighted, helping them to achieve independence.

Naomi Ditchfield from Liverpool has had her dog Dixie for 18 months. She said: ‘’Dixie is my best friend. I can rely on her totally. It’s like a new lease of life for me.’’

Naomi with Dixie Credit: ITV News

Dixie was trained at a Guide Dogs training centre in Knotty Ash in Liverpool.

Guide dog trainers in Liverpool put new recruits Archie and Alfie through their paces Credit: ITV News
Text Santa 2014

You can find out more about the charities being helped by this year’s Text Santa by clicking here.

Teacher stabbed to death honoured in home town

A teacher who was stabbed to death in her classroom by one of her pupils is being honoured tonight in her home town in the North West. Ann Maguire was 61 and just months from retiring when she was killed as she taught at a secondary school in Leeds in April. Ann was born and brought up in Wigan. And now her sisters have created a permanent memorial to her in the town she loved. A special tribute has been unveiled at the park where she worked at an ice cream parlour.

Pictures: Stuck Police Chief 'view of tarmac boring now!'

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