A SEARCH is under way for a man who was seen running towards the River Ouse after abandoning his car in York city centre.

Chris Baker, 29, of Albemarle Road in South Bank, has not been seen since about 7.15am on Thursday and police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Chief Insp Phil Cain said divers had hoped to carry out searches of the River Ouse, but heavy rainfall had left the river too swollen and fast-flowing.

Mr Baker was driving to Hull Royal Infirmary, where he works as an accountant for the City Healthcare Partnership, when he suddenly abandoned his grey Renault Megane at the roundabout between Skeldergate Bridge and Tower Street.

Police say he then gestured to a woman in the car behind and jumped over the wall of Skeldergate Bridge into Tower Gardens, on the banks of the Ouse.

He has not been seen since. Mr Baker, who is originally from Burry Port in Carmarthenshire, Wales, moved to York with his wife, Megan, six months ago.

He is white, about 5ft 9ins tall, of slim build with curly, dark brown hair. He was wearing a striped shirt and work trousers. Mr Baker had taken his mobile phone and wallet, containing credit cards, with him, but had left his coat in his car.

Chief Insp Cain said: “This is a very unusual set of circumstances and is totally out of character for Chris to act in this way.

“There is no reason at all for him to have taken this action and so we are worried that he may have suffered some spontaneous medical condition.

“It is clearly a very worrying time for Chris’ family, who he is very close to, and I am urging the public to help us locate him.

“The police are especially keen to hear from anyone who was either on their way to work, walking their dog, or out jogging along the river bank between Millennium Bridge and King’s Staith at around 7.15am on Thursday.

“Did you see Chris jump over the bridge wall? Did you see anyone behaving in an unusual manner in the area? If you did, you may have vital information that can help us to find Chris. Chris, if you are reading this then please get in touch and come home. Your friends and family are concerned for your welfare and we want you to come home for Christmas.”

Insp Cain said the investigation team would be hoping to search the river when river levels fall.