A FATHER and son have been rescued from the River Foss in the early hours of this morning.

Police were urgently called to reports of screaming coming from the River Foss near the Castle carpark where they found two men, waist deep in water, holding takeaway food above their heads, North Yorkshire Police said.

A 19-year-old man - initially believed to have been older by the fire service - had been drinking and got into difficulties in the river just before 2am, when his 54-year-old father, who had also been drinking, went in to help.

Both men were from York. They were suffering from mild hypothermia when emergency services arrived. 

Officers threw life rings to them and worked with firefighters, who wore wet suits and used a ladder, to get the men out.  

Paul Richardson, deployment manager in the North Yorkshire Police control room, said: "Yet again the emergency services were tested by the over indulgence of alcohol by drinkers in York, not only putting themselves in danger but risking the lives of the emergency services and people around them.

"The dangers of going near the river are well documented and we would urge the public that when out in York they view the beauty of the city from the river bank and not get into difficulty by entering the water." 

The men passed to the care of the paramedics for a precautionary check. Police are continuing to investigate the matter.

Before the weekend warnings were issued to race goers travelling to the John Smith's Cup at the Knavesmire on Friday and Saturday. Police were out in force for the event, which has been dogged by binge drinking problems in the past.

The river incident was not connected to the races and police said few incidents this weekend related to the races or the football.

There were, however, numerous weather and alcohol-related matters with increased incidences of violence in York and across North Yorkshire.

The police control room, which would usually expect to take 180 emergency 999 calls on a Saturday night, was inundated with 310 calls.

The team would usually expect 594 calls to the 101 line, but received 712.