Dramatic footage of a man being rescued from a river has been released by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to highlight the dangers of open water.
It shows a man who had plunged into the water struggling to keep afloat as he grasps at vegetation along the river bank walls.
Cold water shock quickly sets in and it is soon clear he is losing his battle for survival as he starts to dip below the surface, dropping in and out of consciousness.
Fortunately, CCTV operatives spotted the casualty and immediately raised the alarm, pinpointing the exact location of the rescue.
A firefighter entered the water at the point the casualty had last been seen. He was attached to a second crew member on the bank by a safety line.
The man had disappeared under the water, but the firefighter managed to locate him after diving down and he pulled him to a nearby pontoon where, assisted by another firefighter and a PC, they were able to rescue the casualty from the water.
The man was unconscious and not breathing, and the rescuers carried out immediate first aid and revived him.
He was then taken to hospital in an ambulance, suffering from hypothermia. Fortunately he survived his ordeal.
The incident happened in the River Aire in The Calls area of Leeds in May.
Ian Bitcon, WYFRS area manager for fire safety, said: “The casualty in this rescue was incredibly lucky and this footage shows just how quickly people can get into real difficulty in cold water.”
Supt Lisa Atkinson, head of neighbourhood operations for West Yorkshire Police , said: “People who are out and about enjoying themselves in the warmer months often see the water as a place to cool down or play in.
“But these waterways are not like swimming pools. There are no lifeguards on hand in case someone gets into difficulty and there are often hidden currents which can catch out even an experienced swimmer.
“The temperature of the water is another factor people rarely consider. It can be a shock to people and in most reservoirs the temperature is very cold. “People suddenly entering cold water are susceptible to hyperventilation; this could result in the body going into seizure and a person drowning as a result.
“We are asking people to stay safe and stay out of the water.”