Double canal tragedy in Wigan as man and his carer die after falling into the water

Aaron Ritchie and his carer both died after entering the water in Wigan.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 29th November 2023

A moving tribute has been paid to one of the men who died after falling into a canal in Wigan yesterday.

Aaron Ritchie (49) along with his carer (60) both entered the water at Crank Wood canal in Abram at around 2.15pm on Tuesday.

Despite emergency services conducting life-saving intervention on both men, they tragically passed away later in hospital.

Aaron’s family said that he had special needs and loved the outdoor life, and that his death has come as ‘a complete shock’.

It’s believed that he accidentally fell into the canal and his carer jumped in after to try and rescue him.


His carer’s next-of-kin have been informed of his death.

The pair’s deaths aren’t being treated as suspicious and police are continuing to establish the circumstances behind their deaths, with a scene still in place at the canal in Wigan.


Aaron’s family said in a tribute to him: “It’s come as a complete shock to us as a family surrounding the tragic accident of what happened on Tuesday afternoon. Aaron was a loveable character who made a big impression on everyone who knew him.

“Aaron had special needs and he loved the outdoor life and as long as he had his puzzles, laces and spinning tops he was happy. Aaron is surely going to be missed by us as a family.

“We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to his carers’ family and a special thank you to the emergency services who attended trying to save them.”


A statement from GMP said: “At approximately 2.15pm yesterday (Tuesday 28 November 2023) emergency services were alerted to the presence of two males who had entered the water at Crank Wood canal, Abram, and came into difficulty.

“The men were retrieved from the water by specialist personnel in a multi-agency emergency response. Life-saving intervention was conducted by medical staff however sadly both males tragically passed away later in hospital.

“The next of kin of Aaron’s carer, a 60-year-old man, have been informed of his death.”

Featured image: GMP