‘Drunk’ man rescued from River Calder at Castleford

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A “drunk” man who stripped down to his underwear and decided to go for an evening swim in Castleford has been criticised by a firefighter who helped to rescue him.

Unfortunately for the 33-year-old, he became stranded and his friend had to call the emergency services for help.

Fire crews from Castleford received the call around 8pm last night (Saturday) and were mobilise to the river, at the point near Wheldon Road.

When firefighters arrived they were met by the stranded man’s friend who showed them to his location in the river below a 12 foot wall. The man was sat semi-conscious shivering in his underwear.

Because firefighters were concerned the man was suffering hypothermia, they called Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the fire service’s water rescue teams.

They also prepared a “snatch rescue” and sent a firefighter attached to a line down a ladder equipped with life jackets.

Fortunately the man was able to walk up the ladder to freedom and the air ambulance and support fire crews were turned around.

The man was keen to put his clothes on and leave the scene, but as firefighters were concerned for his health they gave him first aid before leaving him in the hands of paramedics.

Castleford watch commander Daryl Schofield said: “I had serious concerns for this man’s life. My thoughts were if he collapses in the river then we’d lose him. As it turned out it was all down to drunkenness. His drunk actions have cost the fire service and Yorkshire Air Ambulance a lot of money. It costs a lot of money just to get the air ambulance in the air.”

Mr Schofield praised the professionalism of the firefighters who attended the incident, adding: “I’d like to give special thanks to my crew commander Neil Burkinshaw who dealt with the ladder rescue. His actions were gallant to say the least. He kept putting himself in a position of danger.”