Rescuers blast 'sheer stupidity' of drunk man saved twice from river after pubs reopened

Kent Search & Rescue on the scene on the River Medway in Maidstone. (SWNS)

Rescue teams blasted the “sheer stupidity” of a drunk reveller who twice jumped into a Kent river as pubs reopened on Saturday.

The man was fished out of the River Medway in Maidstone at about 9pm on Saturday evening before diving back in "a short while later", Kent Search and Rescue said.

He was said to have been in a "distressed state" and was heard shouting “help me, I can’t swim”.

Advice to "not overdo the first day of pubs opening was not heeded," a spokesman said.

Rescue boats patrolling the river on Saturday. (SWNS)

The man was part of a "very drunk" group who were "mucking about" near the river, volunteer James Dunn said.

Dunn said he refused medical treatment and jumped into the water a second time before two rescue boats "herded" the man back to the river bank where he ran away.

Dunn said volunteers who run the service were happy to patrol waterways on busy evenings because "accidents happen”.

But he added it was "frustrating when deliberate selfish acts of stupidity put everyone at risk".

A Search & Rescue spokesperson said; “We can’t believe the sheer stupidity of this individual.

"He not only put his own life at risk but twice caused rescue teams to put their lives at risk in an effort to help him.

"The majority of those out in Kent tonight have had a great time and enjoyed the pubs reopening.”

The Kent Search & Rescue patrols were supporting Kent Police since 3pm yesterday.

The organisation, which regularly reminds people of the dangers of drowning after a night out, were again out again yesterday as pubs reopened.

On Twitter, they added: "We can say #safeanddry saved a life yesterday."

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