Holidaying Chiswick RNLI Volunteer Rescues Man From Canal

Jan Harris sprang into action when the man fell from his boat


jan and husband at boat

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When you are a volunteer for the RNLI you are never off duty from saving lives as Jan Harris demonstrated recently when she was holidaying on a narrowboat and witnessed a man fall from his boat.

The skipper had been on the bank when he realised he’d left the boat in gear. He attempted to jump onto it but missed and fell into the canal.

Jan, a Youth Education Volunteer who supports with Chiswick educational visits, ran to the man. He’d managed to swim to the side of the canal and grab hold of the bank. Utilising the safety skills that she teaches, she ensured the man was calm and able to float until her husband and fellow boaters were able to lift him out of the water.

In the meantime, another boater managed to get aboard the moving boat to cut the engine and secure the boat.

Jan said, ‘As an education volunteer I am used to giving safety advice about what to do in an emergency, but I had to put the theory into practise! We managed to get him out within five minutes, and he was able to have a shower on his boat.

"Although we did not need to ring the emergency services this time, it is imperative that in emergency situations you ring 999 or 112. Do not enter the water after someone, but if you do end up in cold water then remember to float on your back in a star motion, gently moving your arms and legs, until the cold water shock passes; this should be within sixty to ninety seconds.’

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland. Since The RNLI search and rescue service on the Thames started in 2002, Chiswick Lifeboat has attended over 3,500 incidents and rescued over 1,750 people, and dozens of dogs. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations.

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July 31, 2019

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