COUNTY VIDEO: Man saved from river in three-hour search and rescue operation

A man who fell into a river was saved by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in the early hours of this morning.

Emergency services worked for more than three hours to find and retrieve the man after a call at 3.20am to say a man had fallen in the River Ouse near Lewes.

Lewes river rescue. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

Lewes river rescue. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

Dramatic footage from Eddie Mitchell shows a police helicopter assisting in the search.

Two parties of fire crews began searching from either end of an area between the Cuilfail Tunnel and Southease in case the man had been swept downstream, a fire service spokesman confirmed.

The police helicopter found the man on the river bank in difficult to reach stretch nearer the tunnel and crews ran to help, the spokesman said.

He added that due to the inaccessible location an inflatable path was required to reach the casualty, who was conscious but suffering from the extreme cold.

Lewes river rescue. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

Lewes river rescue. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

“Crews carried the casualty from the river and passed him in to the care of the ambulance service to be taken to hospital, before leaving the scene at 6.15am.

Borough commander Julie King said: “Access to the river at this remote location proved very challenging for the crews involved in the incident.

“It was very dark and cold and the teams had covered quite some distance on foot, sometimes running in full kit, to locate the casualty.

“They worked hard and with ingenuity to bring the casualty to safety.”