A man had to be rescued from River Ouse yesterday after jumping from Ouse Bridge – just hours after police had put out a warning.

The man was part of a group gathered on Ouse Bridge just after 7.30pm on Saturday.

Dave Horn of York Rescue Boat said one of the man’s friends had already jumped in, on what was one of the hottest days of the year so far, but had been able to scramble to safety.

But when the second man tried the same thing, he got into difficulties.

He may have winded himself when he hit the water, Dave said. He could be seen splashing about.

Luckily, the York Rescue Boat was stationed nearby, and was on the scene within minutes.

“By the time we got him to the side of the river we could tell he had been drinking," Dave said. "There was quite a lot of bravado.”

Both men, and their friends, were spken to by police, Dave said.

He said the men had put not only their own lives, but also the lives of those who had to rescue them, at risk by their prank.

The water near Ouse Bridge can be quite shallow in places, so it would be easy to knock your head if jumping in, Dave said.

The river is also littered with debris, including old shopping trolleys which jumpers could easily get tangled up with.

Most important, the water can be shockingly cold, he said.

“It was about 20 or 22 degrees – and then suddenly you are in water of about seven degrees.

“They are putting their lives at risk – and also the lives of the people who have to rescue them.

“My team are all volunteers. They don’t get paid for doing this.”

Earlier yesterday, police had put out a warning about the dangers of swimming.

Their advice included:

  • Cold water shock can be really dangerous and whilst the sun might have warmed up the top of the water, underneath it could still be very cold
  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix - stay out of the water if you have been drinking.
  • If someone is in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 - ask for the fire service if you're inland or for the coastguard if on the coast
  • Never enter the water to try and help someone in trouble, wait for the emergency services to arrive
  • If you fall into deep water, you should lie on your back and float. Fight the instinct to panic or swim - it's better to just float.
  • Lie back and keep your airways clear, push your stomach up and extend your limbs moving hands and feet to help you float.
  • Try to take and control the effects of cold water shock such as the gasping reflex. Once your breathing is controlled call for help and if possible try making your way towards safety.