A FAMILY has paid an emotional tribute to a "loveable character" after he and his carer died following a "tragic accident" in the canal.

As reported by the Journal, a large emergency service presence was alerted to the presence of two males who had got into difficulty in the Leeds and Liverpool canal yesterday afternoon, along Crank Wood Road between Abram and Leigh.

With emergency teams call at around 2.15pm on Tuesday, November 28, police, paramedics, firefighters, boat units, and technical response units were all present to try to save the two men, aged 49 and 60.

Both men were successfully retrieved from the water by specialist personnel, while life-saving intervention was immediately conducted by medical staff.

The two men were then rushed to hospital however they tragically passed away later that day.

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Leigh Journal: A large emergency services response was seen by the canalA large emergency services response was seen by the canal (Image: Kyle Parr)
One man has now been identified by Greater Manchester Police as Aaron Ritchie.

The identity of the 60-year-old man, who is believed to be Aaron's carer, has not been released by police due to requests by his family.

The families of both men have been informed of the tragedy.

The pair's deaths are not being treated as suspicious and police are continuing to establish the circumstances behind their deaths, with a scene currently remaining in place at the canal.

Leigh Journal: Aaron's family has been made aware of the tragedyAaron's family has been made aware of the tragedy (Image: GMP)

Aaron’s family said: “It's come as a complete shock to us as a family surrounding the tragic accident of what happened on Tuesday afternoon.

"Aaron was a loveable character who made a big impression on everyone who knew him.

“Aaron had special needs and he loved the outdoor life and as long as he had his puzzles, laces, and spinning tops he was happy.

"Aaron is surely going to be missed by us as a family.”