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British Backpacker Missing After Jumping From William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane

18/01/2016 11:01 GMT | Updated 18/01/2016 11:59 GMT

A British backpacker is feared drowned after jumping off a bridge in Australia "for a bit of fun".

The 30-year-old was the first of four friends who planned to jump from the William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane's central business district on Sunday evening.

After the stunt his companions decided not to follow and in turn alerted authorities who launched a water and aerial search for the man.

william jolly bridge

The man jumped from the William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane

Inspector Sean Cryer of Brisbane police said: "They had agreed between themselves they were going to jump off the bridge for a bit of fun and to cool down. The young man in question – a British national - jumped off the bridge first. The other three followed. He took a running jump from about three or four metres away.

"He went over the rail and went over the water. They observed him go into the water. He came back up again a few seconds later, rolled on his side, went back under the water and he has not been seen since."

According to the Press Association, the friends then scoured the water for him and contacted emergency services.

Police said an intensive search" of the river, including use of a helicopter with infrared equipment, was carried out and have said that they will continue their search until they find him.

Queensland Police warned people against taking part in a high-risk activity like jumping off bridges, stating that it is an offence and could lead to a court appearance.

Police also said they have been in contact with the parents of the man who is missing and that he has relatives in Brisbane.

Cryer said: "It is tragic and really unfortunate. Obviously jumping off a bridge into a river is a really silly thing to do and we would warn against it."

Police respond to people jumping off the bridge, which stands about 10 metres above the water, about once a month.