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Man dies in river rescue bid

Published 02/07/2015

Police divers were joined by the coastguard, mountain rescue teams, fire and ambulance services and an RAF Sea King helicopter
Police divers were joined by the coastguard, mountain rescue teams, fire and ambulance services and an RAF Sea King helicopter

A fire chief has warned about the dangers of swimming in open water after a man died after going to the aid of a young girl who got into trouble in a river.

A major search was mounted after the 32-year-old went into the River Esk at Longtown, Cumbria, to help the youngster.

She was rescued but the man, from Carlisle, got into difficulties and disappeared at around 4.15pm on Tuesday.

Police divers were joined by the coastguard, mountain rescue teams, fire and ambulance services and an RAF Sea King helicopter as they searched for the man, but his body was later retrieved from the water.

Warning the public over the dangers of swimming in lakes, rivers and reservoirs, Cumbria's chief fire officer Jim Onions said: "We don't believe this tragic incident involved people voluntarily going into the water and our thoughts are very much with the family at this time.

"This tragedy does however demonstrate the dangers of outdoor swimming. Rivers, lakes and reservoirs look peaceful on the surface, but are full of hidden dangers and even strong, experienced swimmers can quickly get into difficulties.

"If people are going to swim outdoors they need to be extremely cautious and be fully aware of the risks they're taking. Also the waters are colder than you may think and swimmers often lose the ability to save themselves due to the shock of entering the cold conditions."

The girl was being treated at Cumberland Infirmary but was not believed to have been seriously hurt.

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