THE dangers of mixing open water and alcohol have been highlighted after a woman was taken to hospital after falling into a river.

A police spokesman said officers were called by the fire service just before midnight on Wednesday after a woman ended up in Water’s Whitewell Brook.


He said: “She was in the water for around 30 minutes at waist height before being rescued by the firefighters. Paramedics were also in attendance."

The woman, who has not been identified, was walking down the footpath near the river in Peers Clough Street and toppled over a low wall, fire crews said.

She landed in the waist deep river and was unable to pull herself out from the bank.

The emergency services arrived and after more than 30 minutes, firefighters managed to pull her to safety.

The woman was taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries to her knee.

Fire crews said the woman had been drinking prior to the accident.

John Taylor, a spokesman from Lancashire Fire said rivers and streams pose a threat to all who go near it.

He said: “Obviously rivers can be very fast paced and can often take people’s feet away from under them and carry them off.

“Those who walk along the sides, especially with children need to make sure they are on a secure path and there’s no chance youngsters can slip through any gates.

“It is good practice that those who are walking by rivers late at night to tell a family member or a friend where they are.

“Temperatures of water can plummet quite dramatically despite the air temperature being quite warm.

“This can see the onset of hyperthermia and muscle cramps which can prevent people from escaping themselves.”

Figures from the National Water Safety Forum said that 321 people died in the England last year from accidental drownings, with 86 being in rivers.

A forum spokesman said: “The number of people drowning each year is shocking and must be cut. 

“As an island nation the water plays an integral part of our lives.”