Video of dramatic river rescue in Leeds released by fire service

Dramatic footage of a man being rescued from the River Aire in Leeds has been released by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to highlight the dangers posed by public waterways.

The CCTV footage shows the man struggling to keep afloat as he grasps at vegetation along the river bank walls after plunging into the river in the city centre in the early hours of May 21.

Camera operatives raised the alarm after spotting him dropping in and out of consciousness as the shock of the cold set in.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and one jumped into the water while attached to a second crew member on the bank by a safety line.

He eventually managed to drag the man to a nearby pontoon, where he and a police officer administered first aid as he was unconscious and not breathing. He was then taken to hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

This truly was a heroic rescue by firefighters, supported by police and the CCTV operatives who also played a crucial role.

The casualty in this rescue was incredibly lucky and this footage shows just how quickly people can get into real difficulty in cold water.

Some of our firefighters are trained in swift water rescue and attend numerous rescues similar to this one each year, although sadly not everyone is as lucky as this man.

It is fortunate that a crew trained in water rescue happened to be in the vicinity at the time which saved crucial minutes.IAN BITCON, AREA SAFETY MANAGER

People who are out and about enjoying themselves in the warmer months often see the water as a place to cool down or play in.

But these waterways are not like swimming pools. There are no lifeguards on hand in case someone gets into difficulty and there are often hidden currents which can catch out even an experienced swimmer.SUPERINTENDENT LISA ATKINSON, HEAD OF NEIGHBOURHOOD OPERATIONS FOR WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE