Police Investigate: Man Drowns While Crowd Takes Selfies

(VitalNews.org) – In an incident that perhaps illustrates the signs of the times for the modern Digital Age, a British man almost drowned while crying for help as a crowd of people stood by and watched instead of trying to assist him, some of them even taking “selfies.”

Last Thursday, a man in York plunged into the freezing waters of the River Ouse and was heard screaming for help by a crowd of bystanders. As the man struggled to stay above water, which was 30 feet deep, people nearby watched while making no attempts to rescue the man. According to some unconfirmed reports, a few bystanders may have even been taking “selfies” while the man was drowning.

Even though there were two nearby life rings a mere metres from where the man was drowning, no one thought to toss him one. Eventually, North Yorkshire Police arrived and threw a life ring to the man so he could stay afloat. The man survived and was brought to shore by the Fire and Rescue Service. Paramedics then administered first aid, after which the man was brought to the hospital.

The police put out a statement and addressed the situation, asking readers if they would “be a bystander or a lifesaver.” The North Yorkshire Police then noted that while two of their officers saved the man, they were “concerned” about the fact that no one helped him or “attempted to throw him a life ring,” two of which “were accessible meters from the scene.”

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also released an instructional video after the incident and urged the public to watch it. In the video, they explained how life rings are to be used and other ways bystanders can attempt to rescue someone drowning. Body camera footage of the rescue was also released.

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