South Yorkshire rocker apologises after swimming the River Thames in London

(L to R) Bang Bang Romeo - Richard Gartland, Joel Phillips, Anastasia Walker, Ross Cameron
(L to R) Bang Bang Romeo - Richard Gartland, Joel Phillips, Anastasia Walker, Ross Cameron

An aspiring Doncaster pop star has said sorry – after being caught by the police swimming across the River Thames in London.

Bass player Joel Phillips had his brush with the law after celebrating a successful gig in the capital with the swim.

The Bang Bang Romeo musician took celebrations a step too far by plunging into the water near the London Eye, following the band’s show at The Amersham Arms.

Police and paramedics arrived on the scene, but the rocker managed to escape with a telling off after it emerged officers were fans of the South Yorkshire band.

Joel said: “On reflection it was a really stupid thing to do. I feel terrible for wasting the time of the officers who dragged me out on the opposite bank.”

“Luckily, the paramedics had actually heard us on XFM, as it’s what they have on in the office, and let me off only asking for a signed CD and some tickets next time we are down south.

“I wouldn’t advise anyone else to do it. I was extremely lucky that I am a strong swimmer and didn’t get seriously ill or worse.

“It was a stupid, split-second decision made on the excitement of everything happening for the band at the minute and was extremely foolish.

“The officers did say I was the first person they had pulled out who had actually made it all the way across, which is a slight consolation to the telling off I got from my mum.”

It has been a successful few months for the band who recently celebrated signing to Sheffield-based MadClubOfTwo records and seeing their debut single Johannesburg receive lots of radio airtime.

However, Joel has vowed to celebrate the band’s success in a more sensible way in future following his ill-advised swim on Sunday, March 29, at about 6am.

Since 2012 it has been illegal to go for a dip between Putney Bridge and the Thames Barrier without permission from the harbour master.

The Port of London Authority introduced the by-law in 2012, after an upsurge in ‘wild swimming’ made popular by comedian David Walliams 140-mile Sport Relief challenge swimming the length of the Thames.

The river is said to be extremely dangerous, with tides, strong currents, and whirlpools. A property developer drowned in the Thames back in 2012 after a drunken late night swim.