Fox rescuers reunited

Lifeboats News Release

The kayaker who first pulled the fox from the water last Monday was reunited with the lifeboat crew who came to help and safely wrangled the fox into the RSPCA’s cage. By preventing further distress the fox made a full recovery and was released by the RSPCA into his local area.

The kayaker, Phil Walder, updated the crew on what had happened before the lifeboat arrived. He lives on a Dutch barge opposite the incident. When he got back from the gym at lunchtime he saw a group of people on his pier pointing to the opposite side of the river where a fox was stranded. Phil put on a lifejacket, jumped in his kayak and headed across the river.

The fox was scrambling and swimming along the river wall as the rising tide covered any remaining foreshore. Eventually the fox ran out of energy and began to sink. Phil managed grab the back of her neck and hauled her into the kayak. ‘I was amazed how light she was’ said Phil.

Some builders lowered a rubble bag from the towpath above, but the fox struggled when Phil tried to put her into it. Phil was wondering how to proceed and was very happy when the RNLI lifeboat arrived. The fox calmed down when she was wrapped into a blanket from the lifeboat. Phil handed her over to the crew who liaised with the RSPCA to organise a handover.

Phil Walder said ‘I was very glad to see the lifeboat as I was running out of options. There was no place I could land nearby and paddling back across the river with one hand while holding the fox with the other was not an option. I’ve been a supporter of the RNLI for a long time, pay my subscription by direct debit each month and greatly admire the work they do.’

For the original story of the rescue follow the link: https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2020/august/04/chiswick-rnli-lifeboat-crew-rescue-a-fox

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 3,700 incidents and rescued over 1,750 people. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations.

RNLI media contacts

  • David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 210500 David_Clarke@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678

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For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

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

Fox in Kayak before being transferred into the lifeboat

RNLI/David Clarke

Fox in Kayak before being transferred into the lifeboat
Fox rescuers reunited

Phil Walder

Fox rescuers reunited

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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