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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Boat tragedy prompts safety call
Upton Marina
The boy was on holiday with his family at Upton Marina
The discovery of a child's body in a marina has added to demands for safety improvements on inland waterways.

Dominic Taylor was found in water underneath his family's holiday boat after a search.

It is thought the boy fell into the water during the night.

He was last seen when his father put him to bed on Wednesday and was discovered missing when the family woke on Thursday.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) says the number of such tragedies might be reduced through better advice and regulation.

The RNLI is considering inland rescue stations
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is testing the effectiveness of rescue boats on inland waters and could expand to cover more rivers and lakes.

Dominic, from Hopwas, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, is thought to have crawled through a porthole.

Divers were called in after he was reported missing at Upton Marina, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire.

His body was found by one of the divers.

Water safety

Rospa says no one organisation is responsible for safety on inland waterways. Instead many different groups are involved.

Rospa has been pressing the government to tackle the problem and the findings of a cross-departmental review are expected within weeks.

Peter Cornall, Rospa's head of leisure safety, said a more co-ordinated approach could help prevent some tragedies.

"Three hundred people or so drown in inland water sites each year, far more than on the coasts where there are regulations and people have more respect for the conditions," he said.

Safety improvements are taking place on the River Thames following the Marchioness disaster in which 51 people died.

Rescue on the river is now co-ordinated by the Coastguard and four lifeboats are being provided by the RNLI from January 2002.

Inland rescues

The RNLI is also testing the need for inland lifeboats at Oulton Broad, Suffolk and Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

The Suffolk boat has carried out six rescues in two months.

The Enniskillen boat has carried out 12 since May.

Both are co-ordinated by the Coastguard and deal almost exclusively with pleasure boats.

The operations will be reviewed at the end of the year.

If deemed successful there could be lifeboats on many more waterways in the future.

A spokeswoman for the RNLI said: "If it works and it is successful we would like to expand.

"We are in a position to help save more lives and if our executive committee agrees, that's what will happen."

See also:

31 Jul 01 | UK
Drowned teenager named
05 Jul 01 | UK
Boy drowns in garden pond
24 May 01 | Northern Ireland
Inland lifeboat station opens
02 May 00 | UK
Boy, 2, drowns in river
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