A MAJOR operation to rescue a young boy seen swimming in fast flowing water in the River Kennet in Reading was called off at the last minute today after firefighters discovered he had jumped in for a dip.

Crews from Caversham Road, Dee Road, Wokingham Road and the brigade's control unit went to Fobney Street after a concerned passer-by noticed him in the water near Loch Fyne restaurant at 2.30pm.

But the 10-year-old had climbed out by the time they arrived and the lone youngster - who was wearing a wetsuit - insisted he had intended to go swimming. Police took him home.

Wokingham Road station watch manager Phil Holdford said: "Obviously we take every water incident we are called to seriously, but in this case we remind people not to attempt swimming when water levels are high."