Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last night

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Police have confirmed that a student was rescued from the River Wear in the early hours of this morning.

In a statement released by Durham Constabulary, the police said: “Durham police officers formed a human chain with help from the fire service to rescue a student who had fallen into the River Wear.

“The man was discovered at 1.45am today in the water near Durham Amateur Rowing Club by a passer-by who raised the alarm.

“Police officers came to the aid of the student and managed to get him out of the water with the help of colleagues from the fire service.

“The man was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham suffering from hypothermia.

“Suggestions of any other people missing in the incident are without foundation.”

Officers continued searching the area in the proximity between College of St Hild and St Bild and Klute nightclub until around 0250.

However the statement has dismissed suggestions of any other people missing in the incident, saying they were “without foundation”.

A helicopter spot light had been out and search and rescue teams were seen searching the river bank. A strong police presence with at least five vehicles was also in place.

The helicopter was seen as early as 0215 this morning.

Joe McWilliam, a first year student at Hild Bede College, told Palatinate last night: “There were searchlights everywhere scanning up and down the river. It was pretty terrifying, especially after recent events.”

The rescue of the student  occurred just one week after the body of second year, St Mary’s student Euan Coulthard was found in the River Wear and on the same week the Durham City Safety Group announced a number of new measures to improve riverside safety.

Update 1410: Professor Ray Hudson, Acting Vice-Chancellor, and Dan Slavin, the Students’ Union President have released the following statement: “In the early hours of this morning (Friday) the emergency services rescued a Durham University student from the River Wear. Thankfully the student is safe and well.

“We cannot over-emphasise the seriousness of this incident.  According to the Police the student is very lucky to be alive.

“The University and the Students’ Union this week committed to working with our partners to put in place a number of safety measures.

“However, there are actions you personally can and must take to ensure your safety and that of your friends:

* Ensure you drink responsibly (See advice from the National Union of Students here)

* Do not walk home by the river at night

* Do not walk home alone, and do not let your friends walk home alone”

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