The York Rescue boat attended the scene close to the Ouse Bridge at 6.45pm on Saturday, October 3 after the man plunged in.
He was taken to York Hospital and was suffering from the effects of cold water shock.
The rescue team posted on Facebook: “Our crew was on scene quickly and had to facilitate a rescue.
“The male was heavily intoxicated and instantly suffering from cold water shock.”
They added: “The river is currently 11 degrees and drastically reduced his ability to swim.
“With the amount of alcohol he had consumed, he was extremely lucky he didn’t drown.”
In 2014, four people drowned in rivers at various spots in the city.
York student Megan Roberts died after falling into the River Ouse in January 2014.
The 20-year-old’s body was discovered in the water close to Acaster Malbis almost six weeks later.
An inquest heard that Megan died after becoming disoriented after drinking.
The cause of the tragedy, which was one of three in York’s rivers in a matter of weeks, was drowning.
Leeds man Ben Clarkson also died in a York river at the age of 22 .
The former student at York St John University worked at a music store in the city.
He fell into the River Foss in March last year.