An Unusual Call For Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat

Crew races to rescue but discovers woman performing pagan ritual

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Answering a call to a person in distress in the water, Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat came upon a pagan ritual.

On Tuesday afternoon a passer-by saw someone repeatedly entering the water from Chiswick Eyot and called 999. London Coastguard requested Chiswick RNLI lifeboat to investigate.

Lifeboat crew Ian Owen was landed onto the island and came upon a woman in a multicoloured robe or blanket. Ian reported “She appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s, had closely cropped hair and had been daubing her face with mud. She was quite indignant at being interrupted, saying she had a perfect right to perform her religious rituals. I assured her that the lifeboat crew were solely interested in ensuring her safety."

Shortly afterwards the woman crossed the dried out, low tide, river bed to Chiswick Mall and departed.

Station manager Wayne Bellamy commented “Chiswick RNLI lifeboat has experienced a very wide range of calls in the last nine years, but a pagan ritual was definitely a first.”

As well as providing the 24/7 search and rescue service on the Thames, Chiswick RNLI is also active in raising funds for this charity which is solely supported by public donations. The next big event is the Lifeboat Comedy Night and raffle at the George IV pub on Chiswick High Road on Thursday 13th of October 2011.

For further details and ticket enquiries see or

July 29, 2011