Chiswick Life Boat Rescues Dunkirk Princess

122 passengers on board when pleasure boat runs aground

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The Princess Freda sailed to the rescue of the British army in 1940 but this Saturday (10th August) it was the crew of the Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat that came to her aid.

The passenger vessel which now hosts party cruises on the Thames had 122 people on board when she ran aground in mud on the Surrey shore. She lost propulsion after her propeller snagged on debris in the river only a few hundred metres short of her destination, Kew Pier.

Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat crew attached a towline to the stern and pulled the vessel off the mud. Once in clear water the crew changed to an alongside tow to allow more accurate manoeuvring in the ebbing tide.

As the vessel approached the pier a RNLI crewman was put on board to assist in berthing the vessel. The Lifeboat then brought the vessel alongside at Kew Pier where all passengers disembarked safely.

Princess Freda is one of the Dunkirk “Little Ships” which helped evacuate the soldiers from France in 1940.

Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland; since starting service in 2002, has attended over 2250 incidents and rescued over 1075 people

August 12, 2013