Man still missing after extensive multi agency search

Lifeboats News Release

At 3.04pm on Wednesday 15 August 2018 Chiswick RNLI lifeboat was launched to investigate after passers-by had seen a man in the water being swept under the PLA driftwood barge in Corney Reach. They had not seen him surface again.

Corney Reach PLA driftwood barge in the distance

RNLI/David Clarke

Corney Reach PLA driftwood barge in the distance

The barge is only a few hundred metres from the lifeboat’s mooring at Chiswick Pier so the crew arrived within a minute. They carried out an extensive search around the barge and a houseboat moored alongside.

Soon after, the Marine Police and the Port of London Authority launch arrived and with an incoming tide searched the river towards Chiswick Bridge. The London Ambulance Service paramedics arrived at Chiswick Pier and searched around the pontoons and moored vessels. A police helicopter also carried out a search along the river using its thermal imaging camera.

Despite all these efforts the man has not been found. London Coastguard has requested Chiswick RNLI crews continue the search today (Thursday).

RNLI helmsman Andy Mayo said, ‘This incident shows how dangerous the tidal Thames can be. The current can be very swift and catch people out. The exact circumstances are not clear and it is not appropriate to speculate at this time’.

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland. Since The RNLI search and rescue service on the Thames started in 2002, Chiswick Lifeboat has attended one 3,200 incidents and rescued over 1,620 people. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations.

RNLI media contacts

  • David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 21 0500
  • 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, 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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