Swimmers in the Ouse in front of an oncoming boat are not that uncommon and are to be deplored (Fresh alert as swimmer ‘risk lives’, July 17).

I note that there were no life saving devices evident in the published picture.

During the many years I spent rowing on the river the main problem has always been that these life saving belts were simply thrown into the river by revellers “for a laff”

I have seen that great servant of the river Jack Birch return to Lendal with as many as twenty in his boat.

I sympathise greatly with the rescue services but the fact is that they cannot be everywhere and I return to my point that the provision of some form of flotation device until the service arrives is a vital element of rescue once the swimmer discovers that they cannot get out of the water as easily as they entered it.

As a point of interest, one of my rowing associates is the Humane Society officer in Glasgow, where exactly the same situation exists.

So we are not alone with our problem.

J A Whitmore,

Haxby, York