A “disturbing” incident in Witney saw a mass response from emergency services this afternoon (Monday, February 12).

Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and a helicopter were spotted near the River Windrush following reports of a person in the water.

The search took place near Windrush Leisure Centre and lasted into the evening.

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Police, who used drones to search the river, said nobody had yet been found

An eyewitness who lives nearby said the river had been “fast flowing” in recent days and she hoped nobody was hurt.

thisisoxfordshire: Police by the river in WitneyPolice by the river in Witney (Image: Police)

“If someone fell in, you’d have a job getting them out,” said the elderly woman, who asked not to be named.

“We walk up there daily and it’s been so fast flowing and muddy lately,” she told the Oxford Mail this evening.

The woman described seeing a fire truck arrive in Witan Way and four firemen jumping out just after 1pm.

“I was walking past my upstairs window when I saw the fire brigade arrive in a great big truck,” she said.

“The firemen donned their wetsuits in the middle of the road, which made me think, ‘oh gosh it’s water’.

“The first two ran off down to the river. They set off at a real gallop. It all seemed quite urgent. You don’t normally see firemen run.

“By this time, police and ambulances had also showed up.”

When she went on a daily riverside walk, the woman saw a lane near the river “absolutely crowded with ambulances”.

“My friend said there were about six,” she said. “But I couldn’t have told you how many there were.”

She said that “numerous emergency service” vehicles arrived throughout the day and some were in such a hurry they “blocked half the road”.

The leisure centre car park was temporarily closed, she added, and a helicopter was flying overhead for several hours.

“I was quite perturbed,” she added. “I immediately thought, ‘it’s half term, I hope it’s not a kid’,”

“A helicopter was flying overhead for hours. I kept saying to my friend, ‘I wonder how much longer it can stay up there without running out of fuel’.

“It was flying right along the course of the river.

“It’s all quite disturbing.”

Police said enquiries were still ongoing but would not reveal any more information about the incident.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police told the Oxford Mail: "We received a report of a person in the river and we are at the scene conducting searches."

A spokesperson for the force's rural crime taskforce added: "PC Uren, PC Little, and PC Tillyer assisted response officers, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, and the ambulance in a report of a person in the river in Witney.

"PC Uren and PC Little utilised the drone alongside the National Police Air Service. At this time, no-one has been found.

"Enquiries are ongoing."