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.’
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• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland