Police told not to enter river to rescue drowning man because they

“I thought they would distract from any potential rescue efforts of that vehicle by boat crews by putting themselves in serious risk and which I didn’t believe would have a positive effect on what was happening at that time.”I would sum up by calling it risk vs reward. I wouldn’t have said that lightly. I felt the risk was too great in those circumstances.”Inspector Cross added he would have “happily reviewed” his decision if it was challenged by units at the scene.At 8.47pm, marine resources, boats brought by the fire service, were on the scene but no divers had reached the bank. Inspector Cross told the inquest in Woking, Surrey: “I recall the first I was aware of it was that sadly he had driven his van into the Thames – that was the first point I had any knowledge of Mr Byrne. “We had a call from a Mr Andrew Silk to say a male has driven a van into the river and the driver was still in it.”We called the fire services and the force dispatched our specialist resources. The call handler in the call centre was still getting information from the person on the other end of the call.” At 8.27pm, an order came through the police radio systems in which units were advised that no officers were to go in the water. Inspector Cross said he felt the risk was too great for officers to attempt to rescue Mr Byrne Inspector Cross said he felt the risk was too great for officers to attempt to rescue Mr ByrneCredit:Vagner Vidal/INS News Agency His body was recovered at 9.48pm.The hearing continues. John Byrne died after he entered the River Thames while in his vehicle Despite three 999 calls being received by police call operators, Inspector Cross confirmed that he only became aware of Mr Byrne at 8.20pm when a member of the public called the police. The incident took place at the River Thames near Shepperton in December 2016Credit:Peter Noyce/Alamy The coroner questioned: “Given it was a half hour after the vehicle submerged and no-one had been seen coming out the river. you’re not realistically expecting anyone to come out at this point?”Inspector Cross agreed and the inquest heard that it was not until 9.36pm that air bubbles could still be seen rising to the surface of the water from the 39-year-old’s sinking van and divers entered the water for the first time to confirm that he was dead.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A police inspector told officers not to enter a river in an attempt to rescue a drowning man because they had no “significant training”, an inquest heard.Gary Cross admitted he instructed officers to not try to save John Byrne, a greenkeeper at Wentworth Golf Club, by going into the River Thames.As officers watched from the river bank, Mr Byrne’s van became submerged and he drowned. His body was later pulled from the river following the incident at Shepperton, Surrey, in December 2016.The jury of seven men and four women heard that Mr Byrne, 39, had been heard screaming and shouting while his vehicle sank and began drifting down the Thames towards a lock. His van was found in water 12ft deep, 15ft from the river bank.Inspector Cross told how he was the officer in charge of the Surrey Police control room on December 8 2016, when Mr Byrne, whose wife was expecting twins within days, set up two planks of wood and drove his van over them so the vehicle entered the Thames. “The recollection I have was that to go into deep or fast flowing water was something we would discourage. The incident took place at the River Thames near Shepperton in December 2016 John Byrne died after he entered the River Thames while in his vehicleCredit:INS News Agency Mr Byrne worked as a greenkeeper at Wentworth Golf Club Inspector Cross confirmed to the inquest that he had personally made that direction.He told the jury: “The fact the vehicle was fully submerged and floating down the river, officers would have been ill-equipped and not trained to go into a fast-flowing river with under-currents.”I’m not sure we have significant training to allow us to go into the river in our occupation. “I remember having some training as regards to entering water some years ago.  Mr Byrne worked as a greenkeeper at Wentworth Golf ClubCredit:David Cannon/Getty Images read more