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Girl, 3, rescued after river ordeal

A toddler was rescued by a ferry crewman after she fell into the River Mersey today.

The three-year-old girl went into the water at Seacombe, on the Wirral, but was rescued "within seconds", the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

She has been taken to hospital and the ferry service has been suspended.

An MCA spokeswoman said the child went over the side of the ferry while it was tied up alongside the landing stage.

"It looks like a member of the crew went in after the child and recovered her within seconds. It was over quite quickly," the spokeswoman said.

The MCA said it sent someone to the scene to speak to the crew and find out exactly what had happened and to carry out an investigation.

A spokeswoman for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said they were called at 2.32pm to reports of a child falling off a ferry and into a river.

She said: "The person who dialled 999 said she had fallen 16ft off the top deck into the water."

The ambulance service said the child had a cut to her head or face but was "alert and responding" with no other apparent injuries.

The child has been taken to Arrow Park Hospital as a precaution.

A spokesman for Mersey Ferries said: "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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