Fears grow for British backpacker missing after Australian bridge jump

Skyline of Business District with Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Fears are growing for a British backpacker who took a running jump off a bridge in Australia into a river "for a bit of fun".

Inspector Sean Cryer of Brisbane police said the 30 year old had been missing since he jumped off the William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane's central business district on Sunday night. He was the first of four friends who planned to jump from the bridge.

Mr Cryer said: "They had agreed between themselves they were going to jump off the bridge for a bit of fun and to cool down. The young man in question - a British national - jumped off the bridge first. The other three followed. He took a running jump from about three or four metres away.

"He went over the rail and went over the water. They observed him go into the water. He came back up again a few seconds later, rolled on his side, went back under the water and he has not been seen since."

The friends scoured the water for him and contacted emergency services.

Mr Cryer said an "intensive search" of the river, including use of a helicopter with infrared equipment, was carried out.

Mr Cryer said : "We will continue our search until we find him."

Queensland Police warned people against taking part in a high-risk activity like jumping off bridges, stating that it is an offence and could lead to a court appearance.

Police also said they have been in contact with the parents of the man who is missing and that he has relatives in Brisbane.

Mr Cryer said: "It is tragic and really unfortunate. Obviously jumping off a bridge into a river is a really silly thing to do and we would warn against it."