Shropshire Star

Dicing with death, 125 feet up: Warning issued to aqueduct paddle boarders

A warning has been issued to paddle boarders taking huge risks in the heatwave on the Pontcysyllte Canal aqueduct.

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A paddle boarder on the Pontcysyllte Canal aqueduct over the River Dee

Thrill-seeking paddle boarders and cyclists are putting lives at risk crossing Britain’s highest aqueduct at the Pontcysyllte Canal World Heritage Site.

WATCH: Paddle boarding across the aqueduct

The Canal & River Trust charity in Wales, has launched ‘PontySafety’ to stop dozens of people who use the stand-up boards along the aqueduct trough, which has no railing on one side, or who cycle along the narrow towpath.

As the long summer holiday start and the heatwave continues, the Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of canals in Wales and England, is appealing to everyone to share the space in a responsible way and not take unnecessary risks.

The aqueduct is in between Chirk and Llangollen

Ani Sutton, of the Canal & River Trust said: “I am a paddle boarder myself and I know how easy it is to get blown over or off course.

"The aqueduct has its own micro climate, with sudden gusts of wind.

Don't look down...

“Anyone who stands up on a paddle board across the aqueduct, with no safety railings, is taking crazy risks.

"We ask everyone to get off their board and walk along the towpath, towing their paddle board in the water behind them.”

The 11-mile Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site features two aqueducts at Pontcysyllte and Chirk.