POLICE said today the 18-year-old man reported missing in the same York river where two young people died earlier this year is a serving soldier based in the city.
Signaller Tyler Pearson, of 2 Signal Regiment who was seen to enter the River Ouse in the early hours of Thursday April 3, near Ouse Bridge.
His family have been informed and are being supported by officers from North Yorkshire Police and the Army.
Searches are continuing today in and around the river, using the Regional Underwater Search Unit and other specialist search teams.
Superintendant Phil Cain, of York Safer Neighbourhood Command, said: “It is believed that Tyler entered the river voluntarily during a night out with a group of friends but at this time we cannot confirm whether he has exited the water safely.
“He was seen to cross Ouse Bridge with two other people and then enter the river near the Lowther public house on King’s Staith.
“It is believed that he was attempting to swim across the river to Queen’s Staith.
“It is important that we establish the exact circumstances surrounding this incident and I am appealing to anyone who saw Tyler either enter or exit the river to get in touch with North Yorkshire Police as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should call North Yorkshire Police on 101.
Last night the mother of student Wetherby student Megan Roberts, who died in the River Ouse earlier in the year, said she was “devastated” to hear of the latest incident.
The body of Megan, 20, a student at York St John University, was found further down the river last month. Police believed she fell in the river while under the influence of alcohol on a night out.
Ben Clarkson, 22, a former student at the university, disappeared after a night out with a colleague in York on March 1 and his body was found in the River Foss on March 21.
Last weekend, it was reported that a man was also pulled from the Ouse after jumping from Lendal Bridge.
In a statement, Jackie Roberts said: “I am devastated to hear that one more person may have lost their lives, so close to where Megan lost hers, and this makes me even more determined to do something to make people consider the dangers and the risks they face around water, particularly if walking home after a night out or drinking.”
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man as the emergency services continue their search and investigation of events leading up to this incident.”
“At the River Safety Summit I called a fortnight ago, those present resolved that our combined efforts need to be focused on educating people about the dangers of being close to the river when under the effects of alcohol and vulnerability training for people working in the night-time economy.
“Since the summit, I have had meetings with some of the family members who approached me to express their willingness to be involved in such a campaign. I am now working with our river safety partners to draw up a specification for the campaign, which will include how it can be sustained over the long term.”