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'Respect the water' - Fire officer warns against drinking on boats after man pulled from river

PUBLISHED: 11:48 24 June 2019

Emergency services were called to Horning Broad after a man fell off a boat. Photo: Hemsby Lifeboat

Emergency services were called to Horning Broad after a man fell off a boat. Photo: Hemsby Lifeboat

Archant

A fire fighter has warned people against drinking on the water after a man falling into a Norfolk river sparked a 999 response which included the air ambulance and rescue boats.

Emergency services were called to Horning Broad after a man fell off a boat. Photo: Hemsby LifeboatEmergency services were called to Horning Broad after a man fell off a boat. Photo: Hemsby Lifeboat

Emergency services were called to the river near The Swan Inn on Lower Street, Horning, at around 10.20am on Saturday after a man tripped and fell off the back of a hire boat.

A party on a separate boat witnessed the fall and dialled 999.

Two boats from Carrow and Dereham and the Hemsby Lifeboat assisted the Wroxham fire crew in pulling the person from the water and an air ambulance and ground paramedics treated the man for a cut finger.

Stefan Rider, fire station manager, warned boaters to take care on the water.

North Norfolk District Council's lease on the car park outside the Swan pub in Horning expires on Friday 11 February.North Norfolk District Council's lease on the car park outside the Swan pub in Horning expires on Friday 11 February.

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He said: "We understand people want to have a good time and have a drink but there is potential for accidents if you do so to excess because it's a dangerous environment.

"We would rather not have to attend incidents that could be avoided by people taking care. Respect the water and wear life jackets or flotation devices at all times when you're out there."

Hemsby Lifeboat said a serious incident had been narrowly avoided.

Fire Station manager Stefan Rider has warned people to take care while drinking on boats. Picture: Stefan RiderFire Station manager Stefan Rider has warned people to take care while drinking on boats. Picture: Stefan Rider

It said: "The casualty was recovered to safety with a slight injury to his hand, although precautions were taken as there was a risk of secondary drowning. Luckily he had a flotation aid to assist him in keeping afloat."

Liam Bowles, who works at The Swan Inn, said the man wasn't a customer but that staff had watched the rescue mission unfold from the pub window.

He said: "It seemed like a panic over nothing. It was a group of young guys on the boat and the one that fell in was wet but was walking."

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