River Lune rescue drama: Man swept two miles downstream after boat fall

Emergency services were called to the River Lune near the Golden Ball hotel at Snatchems after a man fell out of his boat and travelled two miles down the river. Picture: Joseph Hunt
Emergency services were called to the River Lune near the Golden Ball hotel at Snatchems after a man fell out of his boat and travelled two miles down the river. Picture: Joseph Hunt

A dramatic river rescue was launched after a pensioner fell off his boat into a fast-flowing River Lune yesterday, Thursday.

Emergency services were scrambled at around 11am after a man was seen in distress near the water treatment plant at Glasson Dock.

The 65-year-old was carried down the river for about two miles, Lancaster fire station watch manager John Timperley said, adding that the man’s life vest saved his life.

He was eventually plucked from the water near the Golden Ball pub, Snatchems, at Overton by Morecambe RNLI’s lifeboat.

Two fire appliances from Lancaster, ground police and a police helicopter were also sent to help.

Mr Timperley said: “There was a gentleman who had apparently fallen from his boat into the River Lune, near Glasson Dock.

“The tide was particularly high, ten metres, but he was wearing all the correct equipment and the flotation device held him up in the river.

“He was then carried upstream towards Lancaster by the incoming tide, which was fast-flowing.”

The helicopter pilot was able to pinpoint the man’s exact location and crews on the ground were diverted to the area from which the man was rescued.

Mr Timperley said the current had taken the man around two miles from where he first entered the water, and credited his safety vest with saving his life.

“He was all well when he was lifted out of the water. There is no doubt that the safety device has saved his life,” he said.

“The emphasis here is to make sure that people do wear the correct equipment when using the River Lune.”

A spokeswoman for the North West Ambulance Service said two ambulances and a rapid response vehicle were sent to the scene.

She said the man was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for treatment after being in the water for around an hour.