Published: 14:00, 02 April 2014
An April Fool's prank that appeared to show a drunken cyclist head-first in a pond has been branded "a step too far" by emergency crews.
Villagers in Preston, near Canterbury, were shocked to see a pair of boots sticking out of Elmstone pond on Tuesday morning.
A half-submerged bicycle and nearby can of lager seemed to suggest someone had taken a wrong turn while worse for wear - and plunged into the water.
But the joke turned sour when concerned passers-by reported what they thought was a body to the emergency services today.
As many as three police cars and an ambulance were sent there this morning, to find it was actually a set-up.
"This was a step too far which led to an ambulance not being available for a short time to attend potentially life-threatening calls..." - Rich Airey
Ambulance spokesman Rich Airey said: "We were called at approximately 8.35am this morning to reports of a body in the water in the pond on Sheerwater Road, Preston.
"One ambulance crew attended the scene. At the scene it was confirmed that this was in fact a hoax and an April Fool's joke in which items including Wellington boots had been placed on sticks in the water.
"While we all enjoy an April Fool's joke it is fair to say that this was a step too far which led to an ambulance not being available for a short time to attend potentially life-threatening calls in the area."
It is not known who is responsible for the April Fool.
One villager said: "Most years something happens in the village, from grand to small April Fools – but no one knows who is behind it all."
A police spokesman said: "Kent Police was called at 8.10am by a local resident who was concerned that someone may be submerged in the water.
"Officers retrieved the bike, boots and wine bottle from the pond and checked to make sure no one was submerged.
"Fortunately no one was in danger and the incident appears to have been part of an April Fool's Prank."
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