Teddington RNLI lifeboat rescue of grounded cabin cruiser

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday morning (3 March), Teddington RNLI crew were called out to assist a grounded cabin cruiser.

The crew were paged at 9.11am on Sunday 3 March to assist a 35-foot cabin cruiser grounded near the riverbank opposite Ajax Sea Scouts in Thames Ditton.

Eight minutes later Helm Jon Barker along with crew Andy Bell, Harry Eaton and Grace Blackshaw in the D-Class lifeboat D785 Peter Saw made their way upstream through Teddington Lock to assist.

It was a busy morning on the River Thames with many skiffs, canoes, sailboats and kayaks out on the water despite the rain.

Helm Jon Barker, with 17 years' helming experience, said: 'After careful assessment by all the crew, I decided it was appropriate and safe to recover the vessel and asked that a second lifeboat be launched to assist with freeing the casualty boat.'

However, as the second lifeboat (D-Class D743 Olwen and Tom) arrived on scene, its crew received an urgent request from London Coastguard to immediately return to Teddington Lock to a suspected person in the water. Fortunately the situation was resolved before they had reached Kingston Bridge and they then returned to Thames Ditton to the casualty boat which was eventually pulled free.

The D785 Peter Saw shadowed the vessel with a member of crew on board to ensure it was fully seaworthy for its onward journey to Tottenham in North London.

Teddington RNLI volunteer crew member Grace Blackshaw, 18, said afterwards:

'As this was my first shout I was slightly nervous - and very excited! I needn't have worried though - the rest of the crew were very experienced, and I knew the casualty vessel and I were in safe hands. I loved seeing the lifeboat in action, knowing that we had helped someone and I really felt part of the team.'

RNLI media contacts

• Paul Stallard, Teddington RNLI Press Officer, 07879 810 817 / paul_stallard@rnli.org.uk

• Gianna Saccomani, Teddington RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer and Crew

07798 905515 / teddington@rnli.org.uk

• Oliver Wrynne-Simpson, RNLI Media Officer London/South East Tel: 07785 296252/ oliver_wrynne-simpson@rnli.org.uk

• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

For the latest RNLI news, photos and videos, visit the RNLI News Centre


Grace Blackshaw (on right) on her first Teddington RNLI Shout

RNLI/Daryn McConnell

Grace Blackshaw (on right) on her first Teddington RNLI Shout
Grace Blackshaw prepares for her first Teddington RNLI Shout

RNLI/Daryn McConnell

Grace Blackshaw prepares for her first Teddington RNLI Shout

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.

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