Chiswick RNLI Station Is Second Busiest In UK

London lifeboat crews rescued enough people to fill nearly three double-decker buses

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Chiswick remains the second busiest lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland, according to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RNLI) latest statistics, which show that London lifeboats rescued enough people to fill almost three double-decker buses last year.

Crews rescued 245 people from the River Thames, and a total of 19 of those were categorised as "lives saved" which means they would have died without the intervention of the Lifeboat rescue teams.

picture of lifeboat on the river

Chiswick Lifeboat made 227 launches, 135 rescues and saved three lives. Tower Lifeboat Station is the busiest in London, with 465 launches, 90 rescues and fifteen lives saved. Combined, London’s three RNLI lifeboat stations launched 770 times between them.

 The charity’s latest annual statistics also revealed that in 2015, London boasted the two busiest RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2015 – Tower (at Waterloo Bridge) and Chiswick.

Adam Robson, London’s RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager, said: ‘To think that 19 people would have died in London last year if it wasn’t for our lifeboat crews is a sobering thought, but it is one our charity’s volunteers, fundraisers, crews and supporters should be proud of.

‘Plunging into the icy cold waters of the River Thames can cripple even the young and fit. Cold water shock can take control in seconds causing uncontrollable gasping which draws water into the lungs and makes it almost impossible to swim, or even stay afloat.’

Adam Robson added: ‘The River Thames is used safely by thousands of people every day but people need to respect the water or it will catch you out in seconds.

‘Slips, trips or falls can happen all too easily especially if you’ve been drinking. If you fall in to the rivers fast flowing water, even if you’re a strong swimmer, the current will beat you. As ever, if you see someone in difficulty on the water call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Notable call outs for London’s three RNLI lifeboat station crews at Tower, Chiswick and Teddington in 2015 included:

• Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew helped pluck to safety more than 60 Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race spectators who became cut off by the tide –

• Teddington RNLI lifeboat crew volunteers launched to a sinking restaurant in the River Thames at Richmond.

• Tower RNLI lifeboat crew saved two Spanish tourists from drowning in the River Thames along with a bar worker who bravely went into the water to help at Temple in central London

• Tower RNLI lifeboat crew were called to a man lucky to be alive after he jumped from Tower Bridge as part of a video prank

The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths around the coast and on inland waterways. People can find out about how to keep themselves and friends and families safe here.

Lifeboat Station Launches Rescues Lives Saved


January 27, 2016

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