Distressed man coaxed from river by lifeboat crew
At 7.00pm on Friday 23 June Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat was launched to reports of a person in the water near Thistleworth Marina.
On arrival the crew found police officers on the foreshore and one adult male in the water. He was fully clothed, clearly very agitated and repeatedly forcing himself under the chest deep water. When approached by the Lifeboat, the male repeatedly warned the crew to stay away and shouted that he wanted to die.
Mechanic, Steve Alexander, had donned the ILB dry suit and lifejacket on route to the service. He entered the water and made his way over to the man. Over a period of time the man calmed. He refused to leave the water and was adamant that he would have no dealings with the Police. However, he eventually agreed to enter the Lifeboat. Mechanic, Matt Gray, fitted him with a survivor lifejacket and wrapped him in blankets.
By this time Teddington Lifeboat had passed through the lock and arrived on scene. The man was still very volatile and had been drinking and so, by agreement with London Coastguard, Teddington Lifeboat escorted the Chiswick boat to Chiswick Pier.
Helm, Martin Blaker-Rowe, and the Coastguard liaised with London Ambulance Service and Police so that the lifeboat was met at the pier by the ambulance whilst the Police attended but remained out of sight. The casualty was safely landed and escorted to the ambulance. Once inside the ambulance the Police attended to fully report the incident. The man left the scene in ambulance C205 on route to West Middlesex Hospital with a Police escort.
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 903 emergency calls. The four Thames lifeboats together have responded to over 3000 calls. The RNLI is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.
June 29, 2006