Teddington RNLI called to 50ft barge adrift in Kingston upon Thames
The volunteer crew of Teddington RNLI lifeboat station launched to reports of a 50ft barge adrift in the vicinity of Kingston riverside.
At 11.10pm on Tuesday 7 June, Teddington’s D-Class lifeboat was launched at the request of London Coastguard to assist with a large barge which had broken away from its riverside berth in Kingston upon Thames, South West London.
Having been at crew training hours before, the crew re-assembled at Teddington lifeboat station and readied their lifeboat Peter Saw for service. Following approval from Charlie Molloy, Teddington’s Deputy Launch Authority, the boat was launched and headed upstream to Kingston.
Helm James Kavanagh and his crew, Manon Jones and Kay Whittaker, reported on scene minutes later to find several local policemen trying to persuade a man out of the river, after he had entered the water to try to recover his barge.
James said: ‘When we arrived the owner of the barge was waist deep in the water trying to pull his boat towards the Middlesex side bank. Before we began working to recover the barge, we had to ensure than the man was out of the water and safe.’
The police were finally able to help the gentleman out of the water. Once his safety was confirmed, the RNLI crew began to assess how best to secure the 50ft barge.
RNLI crew member, Manon, said: ‘The barge wasn’t in great condition and strong points to secure to were limited, both on the boat and on the riverside. There were also dogs on the barge, which meant we could not go aboard.’
With the assistance of the police, a secure ring to tie was located about 50 metres upstream. A short tow was rigged and helm James manoeuvred the vessel to its new berth.
Once the barge was secure the crew reported the evening’s conclusion to the Coastguard and headed back in thunder and lightning to Teddington lifeboat Station for recovery. The boat was recovered at 12.30am and the crew returned home and to bed at 12.50am.
The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, also operates two other lifeboat stations in London, Chiswick and Tower (next to Waterloo Bridge) and one further down the River Thames in Kent, at Gravesend.
RNLI media contact
• Manon Jones, Teddington Press Officer, 07715 271667 / firstname.lastname@example.org
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / email@example.com
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / firstname.lastname@example.org
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
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 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.