Defibrillator installed at Crosby Beach following tragic drowning

23 Jan 2023

A water safety charity and the North West’s water company have come together to install life-saving equipment at Crosby Beach following the tragic death of a student.

In July 2021, Hamza Mansoor and a group of friends were pulled from the water, and local taxi driver Steven Calder, along with several other members of the public, attempted resuscitation. Sadly, Mr Mansoor could not be saved, and the incident left Steven thinking that life-saving equipment was needed to help prevent another tragedy.

Crosby defibrillator.jpgHe put out a call for fundraising help, and Brian Williams, who runs the Hampers café near the beach, got in touch to lend his support. The pair made it their mission to raise funds for Automated External Defibrillators (AED), and set up The Prevention and Awareness of Drowning Foundation. More than £10,000 has since been raised by the community to place as many defibrillators as possible along the coast line. The Oliver King Foundation, set up in memory of a 12-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest during a swimming race, has been helping to install the equipment.

The first AED was fitted near the coast guard station, and now the second is in place on the side of United Utilities’ Mariners Road pumping station, just a few metres from where Mr Calder and others tried to help Hamza. The AEDs are accessible with a code provided by 999 operators, and there’s no training required to use it as the simple instructions are spoken by the machine.

Mr Calder said: “Having a defibrillator nearby can be the difference between life and death, but sadly we didn’t have access to one to help Hamza. Should another tragic incident like this happen there will be a better chance of a happier outcome thanks to this life-saving kit.

“We’re grateful to United Utilities for installing the defibrillator on the side of their pumping station, and also to everyone has donated towards this potentially life-saving kit.”

United Utilities Stakeholder Manager Steven Wong said the company was pleased to be able to offer a home for the AED. He commented: “While we hope it is never needed, having the defibrillator available for anyone to use in an emergency is reassuring.

“As part of our commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate, we’re proud to work with the foundation to fit the equipment, and thank Steven and Brian for their dedication to helping others.”

The pumping station itself has recently had a refresh, with a special new paint job thanks to the Friends of Crosby Beach. The building now features a colourful mural featuring that highlights marine life and spreads the message about caring for the beach and waterways. It reminds people that all rubbish should go in bins, and only the three Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper – should be flushed down the toilet.