Updated: Video shows man swimming in the Ouse – before police intervened

The man swimming in the River Ouse. Photograph: Michael Neal on Facebook
13 Aug 2020 @ 8.08 am
| Video

A man was spotted swimming down the River Ouse in York early this morning.

It comes at a time when people are being urged to keep out of the river during the heatwave.

Police, the fire brigade and York Rescue Boat were all called out after he was seen in the water.

Riverside resident Michael Neal took the footage at about 6am.

Posted by Michael Neal on Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Michael told YorkMix: “It was a weird morning view – he just casually swam by.

“He went past Woodsmill to the bridge and then back downstream.”

Michael said he called the fire brigade who launched their rescue boat, “checked him out and left him to it”.

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called at around 6.15am on 13 August to reports of a man swimming in the River Ouse in the area of Woodsmill Quay.

“He got out of the river of his own accord and spoke to officers.

“Although a strong swimmer, he was given advice about the dangers of swimming in the river, the concern it raises among members of the public and the impact on the emergency services.  

“York Rescue Boat and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were also called, but then stood down.”

Water safety forum

The York Water Safety Forum was established last year and has put forward a series of recommendations to keep people safe.

North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service water safety advice has a number of recommendations.

Bathers are advised to: 

  • Only use venues designed for open-air bathing.
  • Pay attention to all warning signs.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.
  • Never interfere with lifesaving equipment – you might need it yourself.

 If you see someone in difficulty:

  • Shout for help and dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service at inland water sites or the Coast Guard if you’re at the beach.
  • Reach with a long stick, a scarf, clothes or anything else. Crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled in.
  • Throw, a rope is best – you can then pull in the person. Otherwise throw something that will float – a ball, a plastic bottle or a lifebuoy.
  • Do not jump in to try to save them.