Teddington RNLI lifeboat crew assist man injured during riverside festival
On Saturday 5 August, at approximately 3.20pm, Teddington RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew went to the aid of a man who had fallen from a tree, potentially injuring his back, arm and leg.
Helmed by Jon Chapman with crew members Howard Evans and Ray Searles, the D-class inshore lifeboat
Peter Saw, was returning to the lifeboat station after a very busy afternoon attending Twickenham Riverside Festival.
Several hundred metres downstream from the station, a passing kayaker informed the crew a man had just fallen from a considerable height from one of the many weeping willows that line the bank in the heavily wooded part of the River Thames. The lifeboat was landed and a rapid check made of the surrounding area. The casualty was soon located and found to be in considerable pain and in a very awkward position.
London Coastguard were informed of the incident and asked to arrange for an ambulance to be sent urgently. After an initial assessment, the casualty was found to have potential back, arm and leg injuries, as well as multiple lacerations to his back. He was stabilised, given oxygen and moved with great caution to a better position both to help his breathing and for a full assessment to be carried out for possible internal injuries.
The casualty was monitored continuously and kept warm and in a carefully supported position until a London Ambulance HART (Hazardous Area Response Team) team arrived, followed closely by the ambulance, both having had to drive their vehicles several hundred metres along a rough towpath from Teddington Lock. He was then evacuated on a spine board to the Major Trauma Unit at St. George’s Hospital for full check-ups and treatment.
Teddington RNLI helm Jon Chapman said: ‘It was an amazing coincidence that we were able to get to this casualty literally within seconds of his fall, and assess, stabilise and look after him before handing him into the care of our fantastic London Ambulance Service colleagues.
‘Surprisingly for a station on the edge of London, Teddington’s area has a considerable amount of rough terrain and it is in this sort of incident, where a casualty is in an area very difficult to access by road, that a fast response from water-based first responders can make a big difference. All of us at Teddington send our very best wishes to the casualty for a good recovery.’
RNLI media contacts
• Manon Jones, Teddington RNLI 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
• 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, 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.