No doubt at some point you will have been told by your parents or grandparents, or someone who probably remembers a time when Jimmy Tarbuck was a household name, that the youth of today spend too much time staring at their phones and not enough outside.
They look back longingly at their own childhood, the days when everyone kept their doors open and spoke to their neighbours, instead of sitting in their bedroom watching videos of vloggers watching videos.
You quickly point out, however, that this was because they didn’t have YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, because if they did they’d have been exactly like you. They’re just jealous of your youth, you say – and so the argument continues.
It’s probably not wise to stare at a backlit screen all the time though, and one man definitely should have taken heed of this advice after he was filmed falling into a canal because he was distracted by his phone.
The unsuspecting man was caught on CCTV in Nottingham. Credit: BPM
CCTV shows the unsuspecting man casually strolling along the towpath without a care in the world, before turning towards the canal – however, because it’s covered by leaves, he mistakes it for part of the path and tumbles straight into the cold water.
Fortunately two passers-by come running to the rescue and pull the drenched man out of the water.
Annmarie Gardener, landlady at the The Navigation Inn in Nottingham, captured the moment on her CCTV and wants to warn people of the dangers of not paying attention around waterways.
She said: “It is not usually a problem – most people know it is a canal. When you watch it, he thought – because the leaves were on it – the canal disappeared and became a path.
“He was on his phone. We do put warnings out in the pub and tell people to be careful. I think we have had one other person who slipped on the edge but he came back out.
He was staring at his phone and mistook the water for part of the path. Credit: BPM
“When the leaves are in there it can be dangerous. It does worry me and we would like to warn others. It is also deep.”
After seeing the footage, the Canal and River Trust has warned people to be aware of the dangers lurking around canals during the Christmas period.
A spokesman said: “We’re obviously pleased that this incident had a happy, if soggy ending, but it could have been a lot more serious and we’d definitely urge people to keep their wits about them when they’re on the towpath.
“While this kind of incident is unusual we are this week supporting the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign which encourages people to stay safe during the Christmas party season.
The unlucky pedestrian had to be pulled out by two passers by. Credit: BPM
“Our advice at this time of year is to definitely pay a visit to your local canal or river as they’re great places to stay fit, de-stress and relax, but to take extra care.
“Towpaths can be wet or icy increasing the risk of slipping, tripping or falling into freezing water so stay away from the edge and be careful where you tread.”
Of course it’s not just smartphones that are causing people to have accidents – Di Steer, CEO of the Royal Life Saving Society UK, has also told people to be vigilant.
She said: “People tragically die each year because they’ve entered the water with alcohol in their bloodstream, either deliberately or completely by accident.
“Drinking near or in water can be a dangerous and deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.
“When walking home from a night out, avoid routes that are alongside water, particularly in the darkness, and always stay with and look out for your friends.”
Featured Image Credit: PA/BPM