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Police search River Ouse for former York Student - Marine search unit brought to York for third time in recent months

(via York Press ) Both banks of the River Ouse in York have been cordoned off as police search for a missing man.

North Yorkshire Police said officers were investigating a report by a member of the public that a man entered the river at about 2.30am today and was not seen to leave the water.

"Officers are working with partner agencies to search the river and the surrounding banks in York city centre in an attempt to locate the man," said a spokesman.

"There will be significant activity around Ouse Bridge as efforts to find the man continue and it is unknown how long the search will take."

The entire stretch of Kings Staith from Ouse Bridge to beyond the Lowther pub has been taped off, as has as a section of Queens Staith on the opposite side of the river. Police vans are also parked on both sides of the river.

In the last few minutes it has been confirmed that the Yorkshire and the Humber Marine Search Unit will be brought to York today for the third time in recent months to assist in the search.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has any information which can assist is being urged to call police on 101.

The search comes after York's rivers have already seen two tragedies this year.

York St John University student Megan Roberts' body was found in the Ouse at Acaster Malbis in March after she had disappeared during a night out in January. The 20-year-old is thought to have fallen into the river near Lendal Bridge.

Ben Clarkson, 22, a former student at the university, disappeared after a night out with a colleague in York on Saturday, March 1 and his body was found in the River Foss on March 21.

Last weekend, a man was also pulled from the Ouse after jumping from Lendal Bridge.

A river safety summit held last week, involving a number of key agencies, concluded that education about the dangers of the rivers was the key to preventing further tragedies.

Ideas put forward included city-wide training for door staff, taxi drivers, police and street angels on how to deal with vulnerable people, greater engagement with students, and more work with visitors and residents.

Just inside the area taped off by police this morning is a plaque in memory of Paul Rogerson, a 26-year-old trainee accountant who drowned in the Ouse on March 26, 2011, after he slipped off the bridge while balancing on the parapet during a night out.

Bouquets of flowers have recently been placed by the plaque, which reads: "Please help ensure no such tragedy can ever happen again by taking extra care when near the river."


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