Police have joined forces with Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) to urge any witnesses who may have information about the circumstances surrounding the death of a man who drowned in a Manchester canal.

Jimmy Lynch, 46, drowned in a canal close to Ducie Street and Dale Street, around 2am on Friday October 3rd. The area is sometimes used by men who are looking for sex with other men.

Detectives are aware of a number of potential witnesses who were in the area at the time of Jimmy’s death who have not yet come forward to police.

Detective Superintendent Julian Ross of Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team said: “We understand there may have been people in the area who may not feel comfortable talking to us about why they were there or what they saw.

“The LGF can act as an intermediary between the witnesses and the police. They will be able to collect information and pass it on to police, if necessary keeping the witness anonymous.”

The LGF has offices on Princess Street and provides a wide range of services to the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities of the North West.

“Greater Manchester Police are doing everything possible to establish what happened to Mr Lynch on the tow path, but with such a lack of information it is vital that members of the community who can help the police with their enquiries in any way come forward, as there may be ongoing safety concerns for other users of the area,” LGF said in a statement.

“We are very aware that canal side safety has become an ongoing issue in Manchester’s gay village.

“Anyone who comes forward really can help the safety of Manchester’s LGBT community, by sharing any information they may have which could save lives along Manchester’s Canal sides across the city centre.

“Building on the already strong relationships between the police and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, officers have been out with members of the LGF, appealing for information, providing reassurance and safety advice to people who frequent the area where Jimmy drowned.”

Detective Superintendent Ross added: “As the investigation continues we are getting to a point where we will be able to identify people believed to be at the scene.

“We will endeavour to approach any potential witness in a sensitive manner, however for some it would be far easier for them to make the approach to the LGF or us.

“If you were a witness that night please get in touch.”

To pass information through the LGF call 0161 235 8035 (office hours) or 0845 3 30 30 30 (6pm-10pm) or visit them at 105-107 Princess Street, Manchester,M1 6DD.

To contact police call the incident room on 0161 856 4711 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.