A DRUNKEN man who went for a swim in a reservoir and had to be saved by firefighters has been slammed by a leading councillor.

A fire boss said the man was 'in a state of a panic' with water up to his neck when crews were called to Ormsgill Reservoir in Barrow on Saturday morning.

Two firefighters donning wetsuits went into the water, pulled him out and passed him into the care of paramedics.

Bill McEwan, an Ormsgill councillor and former mayor of Barrow, said the man’s behaviour was ‘poor’ and that he was 'failing to set a good example to children'.

Councillor McEwan said: “We’ve had recent fatalities at the reservoir and still people persist to swim in it, and the fact this man was drunk is beyond me.

“He has set a poor example to children.

“His stupid actions have caused fire service resources to be used when they could have been utilised elsewhere.

“He’s not only risked his own life, but the lives of the firefighters doing their job.

“Swimming in reservoirs and alcohol does not mix.

“Children may see this sort of action and think it is acceptable.

“Someone could easily be pulled under.”

Barrow fire service arrived at the reservoir after reports of a man who was swimming seemed to be having difficulty in the water.

Fire chief Mark Ducie said: “We were called to Ormsgill reservoir at 11am.

“We spotted the man near the duck island close to the Tally Ho bar.

“The water was up to his neck.

“He seemed to be drowning and was in a state of panic.

“We immediately got two members of the fire team to enter the reservoir wearing wet suits, who were able to get the man out of the water safely. Once out the water, we discovered he was intoxicated. We then passed the man over to the care of paramedics.

“I think he was in the water for about 15 minutes before we arrived.”

Mr Ducie added: “We urge people to stay out of the reservoir at all times. The water is very cold and people who enter will go into a cold-state frenzy and then shock.”