Chiswick RNLI praise man rowing coach for use of a lifejacket and kill cord

Lifeboats News Release

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew were called by the UK Coastguard at 11.51am on Saturday 9 September to reports of a rowing coach in the water in Barn Elms Reach.

The lifeboat crew found the coach in the water clinging to his boat. He told the lifeboat crew that his engine had stalled and when he tried to restart it the boat shot forward, propelling him into the water.

Thankfully, the lifejacket he was wearing automatically inflated and the kill cord attached to his jacket was pulled out of the engine, bringing the boat to a halt.

The lifeboat crew helped the coach back into his boat and stayed with him while he restarted the engine and escorted him back to his rowing club where he was met by fellow members.

RNLI helmsman Gavin Simmons praised the coach for his foresight and safety planning: ‘Having a functioning lifejacket and a kill cord plugged in meant that an uncomfortable incident did not turn into a tragedy.’

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland; since starting service in 2002, the lifeboat has attended more than 3,000 incidents and rescued more than 1,600 people.

RNLI media contacts

  • David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 21 0500
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825,
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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 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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