York: Man dies after balcony river plunge

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A 21-year-old man drowned after he jumped into a river from a balcony and disappeared from view, police said.

North Yorkshire Police have been co-ordinating a search for the man’s body after he jumped into the water from the balcony which overlooks the River Ouse in York city centre.

The incident, which is not suspicious, happened at about 6.35am on Sunday, July 24, when the man is believed to have leapt into the river from the balcony on Coney Street.

Witnesses saw the young man struggle in the water for a short time before he disappeared from view.

Another man attempted a rescue effort but he too got into difficulties and was lucky to clamber to safety, police said.

North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have been using their boat to assist the search, while further specialist support to help recover the body has been provided by an underwater search unit from West Yorkshire Police.

At this stage the man’s body has not been found, although the search teams will continue into the evening and resume in the morning if necessary, a police spokesman said.

Inspector Mark Henderson said: “York has been a very sombre place today knowing that a young man with everything to live for has paid the ultimate price for a moment of misplaced exuberance.

“It is a tragedy that his parents, family and friends will struggle to come to terms with.

“I personally do not wish to take away from their heartbreak and grief at this terrible time.

“However, people need to wake up to the fact that rivers in general are extremely dangerous, and the Ouse itself is a particularly treacherous stretch of water.

“To avoid further tragic outcomes like this one, I urge people to take much greater care and respect the very real dangers that rivers pose.”

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