A MAN was rushed to hospital after being pulled unconscious from a Chester canal.
It is understood the victim, said to be in his 40s, is a resident at the nearby Richmond Court homeless hostel.
Police, fire crews, paramedics and the river patrol boat were all involved in the rescue at the Shropshire Union Canal, close to Wharton Court.
A fire service spokesman said: “He was out of the water by the time we arrived at the scene, and was unconscious but breathing. Firefighters administered first aid until the paramedics arrived.”
Chester Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident, saying it appeared the man had fallen into the water.
A staff member at Richmond Court told our reporter they had been instructed by management not to comment on the incident.
No one at Foundation Enterprises North West (FENW), which runs the 36-bed facility, was available for comment when the Leader approached the organisation yesterday.
Campaigner for the rights of homeless people in the city, 'portrait artist' Stephanie Burton, took to Twitter to criticise the location of the hostel.
She wrote: “If a vulnerable group of people is placed next to a canal, sooner or later someone's going in it, aren't they?”
A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said locals had been blighted by anti-social and drunken behaviour since the facility opened earlier this year.
One resident has even installed private CCTV and a 'security cage' at the front of the property.
More than 1,300 people originally signed a petition opposing plans to convert the former old people’s home into a homeless shelter.
A public consultation also showed that 85 per cent of people did not support plans for the facility.
Despite this, the proposals were unanimously approved by the Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) executive in February last year.
See full story in the Chester Leader