Five cut off by the tide during the Boat Races
On Sunday afternoon 7 April 2019, after the women’s race had finished Chiswick Lifeboat crew saw two men and three children walking together on a narrow strip of foreshore upstream from Chiswick Bridge, there was no access up the steep bank for some way.
It became clear that the rapidly rising tide would reach them before they got to the next egress point. One of the men managed to carry one child to the steps by wading through the water. The crew stood by, ready to respond immediately in case the man stumbled on the foreshore debris or dropped the child.
The second man was reluctant to follow his companion’s example. The crew’s offer of assistance was gratefully accepted and he was taken on board the lifeboat with the two other children. They were all then landed safely at the nearby steps.
Helmsman Steve Alexander commented “Many people are not aware how rapidly the tide rises on the Thames and can easily be caught out. The lifeboat can reach any point in our patch in a matter of minutes after the alarm is raised. In this instance it was fortunate that we were already on the water with our Boat Race duties, saw the group about to get into difficulty and could respond straight away’
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 over 3,590 incidents and rescued over 1,750 people, and dozens of dogs. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations.
RNLI media contacts
- David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 21 0500 David_Clarke@rnli.org.uk
- Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 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, 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.