Swimmer is feared drowned
Jamie MacDonald • Published 21 Apr 2011 08:00
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George Gibson was apparently spotted unconscious near the Kincardine Bridge.
AN Alloa man is missing after going for a swim in the River Forth on Friday evening.
Fife Police, South Queensferry and Kinghorn Coastguard Rescue Team, an RNLI inshore lifeboat and a Royal Navy rescue helicopter were all initially involved in the search for George Gibson.
Mr Gibson (44) was last seen just before 8pm and his girlfriend raised the alarm after he was spotted possibly unconscious and drifting under Kincardine Bridge.
She reported that he had undressed before voluntarily entering the water to attempt to swim across the river.
Forth Coastguard said that the search was initially carried out in good conditions but had to be called off as darkness fell.
The coastguard continued to look for Mr Gibson on Saturday but terminated the hunt at the end of the day saying the chances of finding anyone alive after such a length of time in the water were slim.
Fife Police continued to look and on Monday they were assisted by specialist officers from Central Scotland Police who conducted an unsuccessful water borne search of the area.
Tidal patterns have complicated the nature of where to continue to look for Mr Gibson along the 29 mile stretch of river.
Fred Caygill, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, told the Advertiser of the dangers of entering the water at this time of year.
He said, "The water temperature around the UK is approximately 10 degrees. Anyone swimming in open water, rivers or the sea, are advised to check tides and currents that may be in the area that they are swimming.
"Hypothermia which can be caused by immersion in cold water can rapidly lower the core body temperature, so great care must be taken in accordance with your levels of fitness and capability."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 20 Apr 11
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