Returning from a demonstration at Walton Viking Sea Scout Festival, Teddington lifeboat crew witnessed a Sunbury lock keeper fall backwards into the River Thames and recover him immediately.
At 2:30pm on Saturday 9 July 2016, whilst returning from a demonstration at Walton Viking Sea Scout Festival, the volunteer crew of Teddington Lifeboat witnessed the lock keeper at Sunbury Lock fall backwards into the River Thames.
Teddington lifeboat was invited to Walton to represent the RNLI, share water safety messages and demonstrate the capabilities of the D-Class lifeboat.
Tim James, Teddington volunteer helmsman said: 'We were waiting for the lock to empty, watching the lock keeper assist a vessel under tow, when he tripped over a bollard and fell backwards into the lock.
'Thankfully he was wearing a lifejacket and we were perfectly positioned to drive straight over and help him out of the water.'
The man had inhaled some water and had injured his neck. Volunteer crew members Matt Ellins and Ray Searles administered first aid and monitored him closely until the ambulance arrived. When the ambulance arrived, the crew provided a full handover of the incident and treatment and the shaken lock keeper was taken to hospital for observation.
Tim added: 'Half of the drownings in the UK and Republic of Ireland are accidents. It is so important to keep yourself safe and wear a lifejacket when around open water.'
The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, also operates three other lifeboat stations on the River Thames; two in London at Chiswick and Tower, and one further east along the river at Gravesend in Kent.
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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