Chinese wild swimmers spark emergency rescue attempt

Locals thought group were among the tens of thousands of flood victims and called police

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 July, 2018, 3:23pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 July, 2018, 3:23pm

Seven wild swimming enthusiasts who decided to swim in a flooded river at high tide in southwest China sparked an emergency rescue attempt after locals mistakenly thought they were drowning.

The group were swimming in the swollen Jialing river in the Beipei district of Chongqing on Friday afternoon when a police team arrived on assault boats, according to news website cqwb.com.cn.

The officers were responding to reports that people had been stranded by floodwaters and were in danger of drowning.

Floods wreak havoc across China as thousands evacuate homes

In Friday’s incident police spent more than an hour looking for the swimmers before they found them.

The group told officers they had travelled to the area to take advantage of the high water levels and did not need any assistance. They carried on swimming for another hour or so.

The Jialing has seen water levels surge to over 196 metres in places in this year’s rainy season.

The river is one of the main tributaries of the Yangtze, which has seen extensive flooding.

Some 80,00 people in Chongqing alone have been displaced by the flooding, and tens of thousands more in other parts of China have also been affected.