Teamwork saves baby from Thames tragedy

Chiswick Lifeboat called to rescue family from river

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Chiswick's RNLI Lifeboat was called to Wandsworth Reach to rescue a small child and its parents from the Thames. 

The call came at 12.26 on Monday 12th December after an 18 month old child managed to get out of his pushchair and fall through the railings into the river.  His family had been crossing a pontoon to reach their houseboat when the accident happened.

The toddler's father dived in and managed to grab the child.  However, the mother, who had got their small dinghy going, also fell in whilst trying to retrieve the two in the water.

Workers on a nearby building site overlooking the river dialled 999 and informed the coastguard who put out an immediate call to Chiswick Lifeboat and the other emergency services. The river Police, who happened to be patrolling nearby, were able to pull the family out of the water.

The lifeboat arrived a couple of minutes later and the crew, trained to deal with drowning and hypothermia, carried out first aid on the baby. After the initial treatment London Ambulance Service paramedics took over the care and the baby was taken to hospital. It is understood that all three family members are expected to make a full recovery.

The RNLI has an active fleet of 323 lifeboats including four on the Thames. Chiswick Lifeboat is one of the busiest lifeboat stations in the UK recovering over 100 people each year. The RNLI is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.

December 13, 2005