A MAN was rescued from the River Ouse at Lewes with back injuries after jumping in to cool off on Sunday.
The man is thought to have jumped into the water, near Tesco, expecting it to be much deeper than it was.
Paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene and it took almost an hour to rescue the man from the water using winching equipment.
A spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: 'We received a report of a person in the water at 3.04pm.
'There was a message at 3.15pm that the man had back injuries, a 3.47pm he was secured onto a stretcher and at 3.57pm he was actually rescued.'
An eyewitness said there were no life preservers to throw to the man.
She added: 'The first paramedics stabilised him, and then the ambulance crews came and then the fire engines with rescue equipment.
'It was difficult to reach him because of the steepness of the bank and the thick mud.
'The tide was rising so it got a bit scary.
'He damaged his back, got some bad cuts and was nearing hypothermia by the time they got blankets and pain killers to him.
'He was lifted out on a stabilising board by crane.
'The main thing people need to remember is rivers are dangerous and the life preservers were missing.
'If he had needed help to stay afloat he could have drowned.'