Two boys who were pictured climbing over the river bank to dangle just above the surging Ouse were a split second from disaster.
That was the message from the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service today after seeing this unsettling picture.
It shows two boys who have climbed down the ladder over the river’s edge on Queens Staith. Two more boys watch from the bank.
The photograph was taken by a York resident from Ouse Bridge at 1.45pm yesterday (Monday).
They told YorkMix: “What the boys were doing was daft and dangerous.
“Two of them climbed down the ladder until they were almost in the water. One of the boys then dangled backwards, only holding onto the ladder with one hand.
“He seemed to be posing for a picture taken by another boy on the river bank.
“My heart was in my mouth. One slip, and he could have been in the fast-flowing water. It could have so easily have been another tragedy.”
The resident said somebody then shouted a warning to the boys from the opposite side of the river, and they scrambled back to safety. They were said to be aged about 11 or 12.
YorkMix sent the photograph to the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service for their response.
Adam Farrow, Station Manager for Prevention for the service, told us: “It only takes a split second for something to turn from being a bit of fun into something much more serious.
“At this time of year the temperature of the water is much colder than the air temperature, increasing the risk of cold water shock.
“We would ask parents to remind their children of the possible dangers of open water.”
The boy’s perilous stunt comes only days after Leah Bedford, 16, lost her life in the River Ouse close to this spot.
Her family have launched a campaign to get CCTV monitoring of York’s rivers to help keep people safe.