Panic as toddler falls 16ft off ferry into the River Mersey

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Girl, 3, falls 16ft off ferry and into the River Mersey

A toddler is lucky to be alive after falling overboard a ferry into the River Mersey on Monday.

The three-year-old girl fell 16ft from the second tier of the Mersey Ferry into the freezing water as the boat came into the quayside at Seacombe Ferry Terminal.

Two members of Mersey Ferry staff have been hailed as heroes after jumping into the water and saving the girl from drowning, or potentially being crushed against the sea wall.

Eyewitnesses said they heard a woman screaming, before seeing the little girl struggling in the water below.

Eyewitness Joe Hughes, a civil servant who was also on the ferry, told the Liverpool Echo: "I was on the ferry just before when it was docking in Seacombe and a young girl somehow toppled over and fell into the water. There was a gap between the ferry and the dock. Me and a friend were on the top deck and there was a lot of commotion or shouting and the girl was down there.

"She could have drowned but two members of the staff from Mersey Ferries got in and risked their lives and saved her life. They were heroes."

The girl was taken straight to to the Arrow Park Hospital and reportedly suffered a cut to her head, but was "alert and responding".

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it has launched an investigation, and told the Express and Star: "It looks like a member of the crew went in after the child and recovered her within seconds. It was over quite quickly."

A spokesman for Mersey Ferries told the Belfast Telegraph: "We have suspended our ferry sailing for the remainder of the day following an incident which saw a passenger enter the water. The emergency services were called to the scene and we are working to establish the circumstances around the incident."

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