THE body of a man has been found in a canal next to a partly submerged car.

Police were called to Prestolee Locks in Little Lever at 8.25am on New Year's Eve morning after a member of the public reported a car with a body in it in the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

It is believed that the incident happened some time after 6.30am.

At this stage it is not yet known how the car, a silver Toyota Auris, ended up in the canal, but police say they are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The family of the man, who is in his 40s, have been informed.

Following the incident, police fire and ambulance crews remained at the scene for a number of hours.

Cordons also remained in place along the canal towpath, and at the entrance to the Meccano Bridge in Boscow Road, while the car was recovered later in the afternoon.

The locks, about half a mile from the centre of Little Lever, are popular among dog walkers, many of whom expressed shock at what had happened.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: “Shortly before 8.30am on Sunday, December 31 2017, police were called to reports of a car in the canal on Boscow Road in Bolton.

“Emergency services attended and found the body of a man in his forties and a silver Toyota Auris. 

“There are no suspicious circumstances around his death and a file has been passed to the coroner.”