Chiswick RNLI Save Man Who Was 'In Serious Danger'

He was clinging onto a mooring chain in the water at Battersea

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A man in serious danger was saved by Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew who pulled him from the River Thames at Battersea where he was clinging onto a mooring chain.

At 12.17am (Tuesday 9 Sept), Chiswick RNLI lifeboat launched to reports of a man in the water at Battersea. After passing under Wandsworth Bridge they saw the beam of the police helicopter’s searchlight.

The illumination from above enabled the crew to quickly locate the casualty. They found a man aged in his thirties clinging onto the mooring chain of a houseboat close to St Mary's Church in Battersea.

Image courtesy of Chiswick RNLI

Shoreside police and the London Ambulance Service were already present but were unable to reach the man.

RNLI helmsman Gary Tiller said: ‘He had clearly been in the water sometime as he was very cold with his arms and legs locked around the chain as if he was frozen to it. As a result it was quite tricky getting him into the lifeboat.

‘Although the emergency services were present on the shore they were unable to reach the casualty. His position meant he could only be rescued by boat. The whole crew is very pleased we were able to save this man.'

The lifeboat crew quickly transferred him to the slipway by St Mary’s Church where he was taken ashore in the basket stretcher and handed into the care of the London Ambulance Service. It was not clear how or why the man ended up in the water. Despite being freezing cold, the man’s injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

The RNLI lifeboats on the Thames have been specially designed so that crews can easily retrieve people in difficulty in the water. Lifeboat crews constantly train for this type of incident. Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland; since starting service in 2002, has attended more than 2,500 incidents and rescued more than 1,300 people.

September 9, 2014