Chiswick Lifeboat Marks Milestone Rescue

Latest rescue of seven people brings total to 1,000

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Chiswick RNLI crews have reached the milestone of 1,000 people rescued since the start of the RNLI search and rescue service on the Thames in January 2002. The classic motor launch Wairakei II  (one of the Dunkirk Little Ships) had run aground at Brentford yesterday (Sunday, May 27th). Five adults, two children and 2 dogs were evacuated safely into the Lifeboat.

The beautifully restored 1932 boat was listing badly after running aground by the entrance to the Grand Union Canal at Brentford.

Chiswick Lifeboat was on patrol at Battersea and made all possible speed on a river busy with leisure craft on a sunny Sunday afternoon. All seven persons on board and two dogs were safely taken on board the lifeboat and landed at Kew Pier.

Chiswick RNLI helmsman Mark Finnis commented:

 "Reaching this milestone in persons rescued in our 10th year is a great achievement, made even more memorable when dealing with such an historic vessel”

The RNLI has 233 lifeboat stations including four on the Thames. Chiswick RNLI lifeboat became operational on the 2nd January 2002. Since then it has responded to over 2,000 emergency calls. The four Thames lifeboats together have responded to over 5,000 calls. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to  or

The scene at the latest rescue : image courtesy of the RNLI

Since it was established, the lifeboat has also assisted many people who remained in broken down vessels which have been towed; the total estimated value of craft assisted is approaching £10M.

Despite being the second busiest lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland throughout its ten year history, Chiswick RNLI has a surprisingly low profile in London; the lifeboat station works closely with the local fundraising group, which has grown from strength to strength and is currently raising over £30,000 a year through a range of collections and events.

The local lifeboat crew will be very busy this weekend with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant and later in the summer, with the Olympics.

More helpers are always needed to assist in fundraising, which is the only source of income for RNLI's life saving services throughout the UK and Ireland.

May 28, 2012