At around 11.45pm on Saturday (2/6), the victim was walking on the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal next to Crane Wharf off Kings Road when he was approached by five teenage boys.
The victim was then punched and pushed into the canal. When he climbed out, he was punched and kicked by the group.
The victim sustained a cut to his forehead and bruising on his arms and legs.
The boys are all described as between 16 and 17 years old.
The first offender is white, around 5ft 8ins tall with a slim build. He was wearing a t-shirt and dark jeans.
He has light coloured hair which was shaved at the sides and longer in the middle.
The second boy is around 5ft 8ins tall of medium build with light hair.
He was wearing a plain white t-shirt and grey tracksuit bottoms.
The third suspect is also around 5ft 8ins tall with a slim build.
The fourth boy is described as being of south Asian or Arabic origin. He is between 5ft 7ins and 5ft 8ins tall of a stocky build. He has short dark hair which was spikey in the middle and possibly dyed.
He was wearing a white t-shirt with horizontal stripes across the chest.
The final boy is black, around 5ft 8ins tall with a slim build and short to medium length dark hair.
He was wearing a black t-shirt and dark jeans.
Investigating officer PC Graham Ammundsen, of the Investigation Hub based at Reading Police Station, said: “This appears to have been an unprovoked attack by a group of boys which could have resulted in far more serious injuries.
“Pushing people into the water is clearly an extremely reckless thing to do, but to then assault the victim further when he climbed out is completely unacceptable.
“I believe this assault was witnessed by members of the public who were sitting on a bench outside Queens Road car park.
“I am appealing for witnesses to make contact with police on the non-emergency number 101. Likewise, if anybody recognises any of the descriptions of the offenders please come forward.
“Officers are investigating and working to identify the offenders.”