Man fined after driving 100 miles to swim in flooded River Severn

A man was fined £200 after travelling to swim in the River Severn. (SWNS)
A man was fined £200 after travelling to swim in the River Severn. (SWNS)

A man has been fined £200 after driving 100 miles to swim half-naked in a flooded river “for exercise” sparking a major rescue operation.

The 36-year-old man dived into the swollen River Severn in Worcester at 1.15pm on January 28, West Mercia Police said.

Emergency services, including police, ambulance and firefighters, responded to the scene after witnesses said they spotted him being swept downriver.

The man was seen scrambling out of the water wearing just his boxer shorts and was pictured grinning as his friend filmed his illegal dip.

West Mercia Police later issued an appeal urging the man to come forward.

The 36-year-old handed himself in and admitted he had travelled from Somerset, 100 miles away, to swim in the river.

The man was issued with two Fixed Penalty Notices, one for breaching coronavirus legislation and the other for public order offences.

Inspector Andrew Holliday said: "As a service, we are acutely aware of the alarm and distress that the actions of this man have caused the local community.

"In part this is due to a number of incidents that have happened previously, both in this area and connected to the river.

"We cannot state strongly enough that the river is a very dangerous place, at any time of the year, but especially at times when the river is so high and no one should enter the water for any reason to swim.

"The Covid regulations clearly state that exercise is one of the permitted reasons for being away from your residence, however travelling from Somerset to Worcestershire for a stunt like this which was filmed by a friend of the man is not a permitted form of exercise, nor a reasonable reason to travel and just will not be tolerated whilst we as a community are in lockdown together."

Watch: Boris Johnson on ‘absolutely crucial’ need to follow lockdown rules