Search Continues For Missing School Rowing Coach

Chiswick RNLI found capsized boat near Putney Embankment

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The search is continuing for a rowing coach who went missing in the river Thames near Putney earlier this week. Michael D Hill, aged 48, works part-time at Latymer Upper School and also coaches at the London Rowing Club on Putney Embankment.

It is understood that he was leading a group of eight rowers from Thames Rowing Club out on a routine training session near Putney Pier on Monday (February 2nd) when he went missing.

A capsized motorboat boat was found near moored vessels by the RNLI during a search.

The alarm was first raised at around 7.30pm when a passerby noticed a boat and a sports bag floating in the water near Putney Embankment.

Wayne Bellamy, Station Manager at Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station, said, 'The lifeboat crew launched at 7.30pm and, along with the police boat and helicopter, fire boat, and other rowing coach vessels, took part in an extensive search of the River Thames. After two-and-a-half hours last night we hadn't found any persons.'

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew retrieved the motorboat but it was found to be empty.

The search has continued throughout the week.

Paying tribute, the Latymer School at Hammersmith school says on its web site, "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Michael Hill, a much loved and respected member of our rowing coach team who has been missing since the evening of Monday 2nd February.

"Our understanding is that Michael became separated from his launch in an incident during a coaching session with Thames Rowing Club in Putney. An investigation led by the PLA (Port of London Authority) is ongoing."

Upper Latymer Head, David Goodhew says: "This is an extremely distressing time for all at the School – in particular Michael’s colleagues in the boat club and pupil crews who make up the close-knit rowing community at Latymer Upper School. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this terrible time."

A spokesman from the Port of London Authority said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

February 5, 2015