Rescued river raver 'lucky to be alive'

EMERGENCY services that rescued a young man who got in difficulties trying to cross the River Calder said he’s “lucky to be alive”.

The man tried to get across the river near Healey Road in Ossett, in the early hours of Sunday morning after leaving a rave in some nearby woods. The river was swollen due to heavy rain, and he was swept away by the fast-flowing current.

Emergency service crews including six fire appliances, several police vehicles, an ambulance, a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and a police helicopter  were alerted just before 3am.

Dewsbury Fire Station’s watch commander Richard Hames said: “He was coming back from some kind of rave in the woods, or a gathering with drinking. It was quite surreal seeing that many young people walking towards you out of the woods at that time. Most of them were around 16 to 25.”

Mr Hames said the man managed to grasp onto a banking after being carried down river.

It took crews over an hour to find and rescue him. He was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Mr Hames added: “The warning here is don’t take risks near water, especially when drink or drugs are involved and especially with there being so much rain recently. It’s often stronger than you think and can be freezing cold. This guy is lucky to be alive.”

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