Teddington RNLI Assists in Teddington Lock Boat Fires

Lifeboats News Release

Teddington RNLI were paged at 0139 this morning (26 February 2020). Deputy Launch Authority Paul Roach says: ‘The coastguard tasked us to reports of two boats on fire in the vicinity of Teddington Lock and we were asked to ensure that there were no casualties in the water.’

Fourteen volunteer crew arrived within 2-3 minutes of the pager and the D class lifeboat D785 Peter Saw was immediately launched. London Fire Brigade were already on scene and were attempting to douse the flames of the larger of the two boats, approximately 10 metres in length, which was in the downstream end of the larger of the two locks. They were also tackling a smaller fire on another boat aflame at the mouth of the smaller launch lock.

The second lifeboat, D743 Olwen and Tom, under the command of Teddington RNLI helm, Angus Prentice, was subsequently launched and conducted a comprehensive search downstream of the lock to ensure no one had been swept towards Swan Island in the strong flow.

Jon Chapman, helm of the Peter Saw, confirmed with London Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and London Coastguard that there were no casualties in the water and both boats returned to the lifeboat station at 0240.

Volunteer crew Samantha Armatage drove the tractor used to launch both boats. She says: ‘The scene was quite dramatic as there were two very large fires in the locks directly opposite the lifeboat station. There was a loud explosion shortly after the second boat was launched into the Thames and obviously your concern is for the crew, but I knew they would have kept to a safe distance.’

As helm Jon Chapman explained, ‘We kept a safe distance throughout and left the fire control to the experts. While checking there were no other boats on fire, we discovered another smaller vessel on fire some 100 metres upstream from the other incidents. This fire was reported and dealt with by London Fire Brigade.

‘This is certainly one of the more unusual shouts I have experienced. We were able to play a very useful part by being out on the water and locating the third fire, thus ensuring it was dealt with before it became a major risk to the boat and others around it.’

Currently both locks have been closed by the Environment Agency as both boats sank in the locks.

RNLI media contacts

• Paul Stallard, Teddington RNLI Lifeboat 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

David Clarke Lifeboat Press Officer Chiswick RNLI 07951 210500 David_Clarke@rnli.org.uk

• Paul Dunt, RNLI Media Officer London/South East Tel: 07785 296252/ paul_dunt@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


RNLI/James Kavanagh

Boats on Fire at Teddington Lock, River Thames

RNLI/Gianna Saccomani

Boats on Fire at Teddington Lock, River Thames

RNLI/Jon Barker

Teddington RNLI Helm Jon Chapman

RNLI/Jon Barker

Teddington RNLI Crew Sam Armatage

RNLI/Jon Barker

Teddington RNLI DLA Paul Roach

RNLI/Paul Jon Barker

Teddington RNLI Helm Angus Prentice

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.