|Chiswick Lifeboat Called to Kew Bridge Collision|
Bridge closed after 90 ft barge becomes wedged sideways
The crew of Chiswick's RNLI Lifeboat were called to Kew Bridge on Tuesday evening to investigate reports of a collision involving a barge.
The crew set off and reached the bridge at 20.00 to find a 90ft barge wedged sideways in one the bridge’s stone arches.
It was soon ascertained that there was no one on board however the crew was asked to stand by nevertheless.
Helmsman Alan Hudson said “It was important that we remained on scene to warn other craft, as the stricken vessel was unlit and a hazard to navigation”.
The barge (converted into a houseboat) had apparently come loose from its moorings in Brentford and neighbouring houseboat dwellers raised the alarm. Eventually, a tug from Isleworth arrived and managed to take the barge in tow back to Brentford.
There were fears that the bridge may have sustained structural damage. As a precaution, Kew Bridge was closed to road traffic for two hours until engineers gave the all-clear.
The RNLI is entirely supported by voluntary contributions. The RNLI has 233 lifeboat stations including four on the Thames. Chiswick RNLI lifeboat became operational on the 2nd January 2002 and has attended over 1000 incidents. The four Thames lifeboats together have responded to over 3000 calls.
November 30, 2006