‘Drunken man’ rescued from Bristol Harbour by fire crews

Firefighters have issued a warning after a “drunken man” was hauled from docks while having a swim in Bristol Harbour.

A man was spotted swimming in the harbour near Bristol Docks while fire crews from Bedminster were out on a training mission on Good Friday (April 15). He was subsequently rescued from the water by their Green Watch team.

Sharing the news on Twitter, Bedminster Fire Station said: “While out training in #Bristol docks this evening, #GreenWatch rescued a drunken man from the water. Alcohol and cold water do not mix, just #keepout . #waterrescue.”

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The post was paired with a picture showing what appears to be a naked man walking up the ramp from the waters.

As tempting as it may be on a hot day, it is illegal to swim in Bristol Harbour – it is deemed unsafe because it is still a working harbour. Swimming in any part of Bristol Harbour is banned unless the Harbour Master has given consent, according to the Bristol City Council website.

Swimming in cold water can be particularly dangerous when intoxicated because alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, so there’s a lot more heat lost more quickly. Other dangers of swimming in the harbour include getting hit by a boat, hazardous or discarded objects under the water, occasional very strong currents due to tides and occasional poor water quality.

The heatwave last June saw many incidents of “irresponsible” swimming by the docks, leading to a warning from the council. The warning came just days after a man died after entering the waters at Narrow Quay

Last June, wild swimmers staged a series of protests to campaign for the harbour to be opened up to swim in and were threatened with prosecution. The council subsequently said they were “looking into the possibilities” of opening up the harbour to swimming.

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