A MAN rescued from the river near Pengam was described as "intoxicated" and allegedly "jumped in to the water as a joke".

Fire crews from Aberbargoed and police officers were called to the scene of a report of a casualty in the Rhymney River in Pengam received at 7.34pm yesterday.

One man was rescued from river by ambulance crews, using rope rescue to assist with lifting casualty up the bank.

Paul Jackson, chief inspector at Gwent Police said: "Police, fire and ambulance crews responded to a report that a male person had jumped in to the river at Pengam and was face down floating downstream.

"An initial search of the location proved negative but after about 15 minutes an Ambulance crew located the male in Commercial Street.

"There was concern for the male as enquiries at the scene suggested he’d jumped from a height in to shallow water causing potential spinal injuries. As such he was taken to hospital on a spinal board.

"Eye witnesses at the scene suggested that the male was intoxicated and had jumped in to the stream as a joke and in order to show off.

"This resulted in the deployment of the emergency services, already stretched on a busy bank holiday weekend."