Fire service issue safety warning after student ends up in Sheffield river during freezing cold weather

A Sheffield student who ended up in the River Sheaf in the early hours of Saturday, when temperatures plummeted to below zero, was rescued after the fire service traced his location through his mobile phone signal.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 5:01 pm

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said the emergency services received a call from the man at around 3.39am, who said he was in was in the river and did not know how he had come to be there.

“He was in distress, he was hypothermic...he didn’t know how he got into the river, and he didn’t know where he was.

“He thinks he might have fallen off a bridge,” said the spokesman.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The fire service traced the student's signal to behind Graham's Plumbers' Merchants in Queens Road

He continued by saying that not only did the student not know where he was, he also did not know which of Sheffield’s five rivers he was in.

Quick-thinking staff at the fire service traced his mobile phone signal to a location behind Graham Plumbers’ Merchant in Queens Road, Highfield and realised he must be nearby in the River Sheaf.

Fire crews were then deployed to the scene, and thankfully, managed to safely rescue the young man, who is believed to be around 20-years-old.

The student is believed to have been suffering from hypothermia after being pulled out of the river.

He was left in the care of the ambulance service, who were also called to the scene.

It is not known whether the young man was taken to hospital by the ambulance service.

The fire service left the scene at around 4.30am.

The dramatic river rescue has prompted the fire service spokesman to issue a warning about how dangerous it is to be in open waters in freezing cold temperatures.

He said: “I would advise people to stay away from water when it is so cold.

“The effects of hypothermia are very extreme and set in very quickly. It makes you completely disorientated too."

Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35C, with normal body temperature classified as being around 37C.