LIFEBOAT STATION OPENS
new lifeboat stations at Chiswick
became operational on 2 January,
providing a round-the-clock
rapid response service for the
the local river.
lifeboat station at Chiswick
Pier will be manned continuously
to provide an immediate response.
Two of the three-person crew
at the station will be full-time
with the third a volunteer.
This will enable the boat to
arrive at any incident within
station will be run by Wayne Bellamy who is
a graduate of the Canadian Coastguard's rigid
hull inflatable operator training school and
has navigation, search and rescue, marine fire
fighting and incident management experience.
He has served as coxswain and crew on a variety
of rescue craft including catamarans and hovercraft.
During his time with Canadian Airlines at Heathrow,
he developed an emergency response plan and
a VIP concierge programme for the airline and
travelled the world training colleagues.
RNLI was approached by the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency (MCA) to provide the rescue service
as a result of the findings of the Thames Safety
Inquiries into the collision between the pleasure
cruiser, The Marchioness, and the dredger,
Bowbelle, which resulted in the loss of 51
lives in 1989, leading to a demand to step
up search and rescue cover on the river.
MCA will co-ordinate the rescue operation from
a Port of London Authority operations room
at the Thames Barrier.
are in excess of 100 incidents on the river
each year and over 100,000 people use the Thames
every day' says Michael Vlasto, RNLI operations
director. 'By providing well trained and well
equipped lifeboat crews and calling on 177
years of lifeboat experience, we can provide
a dedicated search and rescue service for Londoners
and those using the river.'
boats being used on the Thames are E class
Tiger Marine fast response craft, capable of
RNLI and the MCA have started a London Underground
poster campaign to get Londoners used to having
a dedicated rescue service on the river aimed
at getting them to Call 999 and ask for the
is a new concept for Londoners and we have
to get them used to raising the alarm in this
way' says Michael Vlasto. 'We are confident
that the co-ordinated approach between ourselves,
the MCA and other agencies will help safeguard
lives on the Thames.'
Royal National Lifeboat Institution