Man falls overboard and drowns in river
PUBLISHED: 09:56 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 21 June 2020
A man has drowned after falling overboard at a vessel moored near the River Wensum.
Search and rescue teams from across the county spent the early hours of this morning, June 19, attempting to retrieve the man’s body.
He was found using specialist underwater equipment provided by the fire service at the stretch of river between Norwich train station and Kett’s Hill on Riverside Road at 5am.
The man was on board a moored boat near the Foundry Bridge in Norwich before falling into the water.
The alarm was then raised after members of the public, who jumped in the water, were unable to locate him.
Police, the fire service, ambulance service, Winterton and Gorleston Coastguard teams, Hemsby Broads Rescue and a specialist NHS support and heart team were all mobilised in the rescue effort.
Drones were used in the search and crew changes were on hand to ensure tiredness did not jeopardise the operation.
In a statement, Hemsby Lifeboat said: “Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with the family and friends of the casualty at this sad outcome.
“Our thanks go to all the emergency services who worked together tirelessly as a collaborative team.
“It is a real shame that we were not able to gain the outcome we all hoped for.”
A member of the lifeboat team said: “From what we understood the man was on the boat by himself when he fell in and there wasn’t many people about.
“But a few members of the public did see it happen and did their very best to get him out quickly and safely.
“Our lifeboat arrived at around 1am and we did have that glimmer of hope that we’d find him okay. But a few hours in it was looking increasingly unlikely we’d find him alive.
“The lifeboat team returned to base at 8.30am this morning and we were extremely deflated by the way it turned out.”
He added: “Everyone worked so hard and I can’t fault anyone’s effort. It’s just such a shame it couldn’t have had a happier ending.”
Police have confirmed that the death is being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious.
A post-mortem will take place to establish the cause of death.
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