Teddington RNLI and Chiswick RNLI rescue four people from drifting boat
Teddington RNLI and Chiswick RNLI were tasked on Saturday (4 Jan 2020) at 10:45pm, to four people adrift in a small dinghy without power in a fast stream on the River Thames.
As Teddington RNLI Helm, Toby Banks explained: ‘The call came in from London Coastguard to help rescue four people in a small vessel that had lost power on the River Thames at Corporation Island, just by Richmond.’
It was Toby’s first shout as Helm. With his crew of Jon Barker, Jon Chapman and Chris Gibson, Teddington RNLI launched D class Inshore Lifeboat D-785 Peter Saw (one of two D class Inshore Lifeboats at Teddington RNLI). Teddington RNLI shore crew of Angus Prentice, Sam Armatage, Pete Doyle, Andy Bell and Callum Goddard ensured a swift and efficient launch.
Chiswick RNLI E class Lifeboat was also dispatched and arrived on scene just before Teddington RNLI. Teddington RNLI and Chiswick RNLI often combine on ‘shouts’ around the Richmond area when the situation demands.
As Toby explained: ‘Once on scene it was clear Chiswick RNLI had the casualties safely aboard their E class but the casualty vessel was getting in the way so we cleared that for them. It proved very difficult for them to get the casualties ashore as the E class couldn’t beach and pontoon space was limited.
So I made two journeys to transfer the casualties to the D class then ashore onto The White Cross pub slipway, Richmond. So the first female casualty didn’t get her feet wet, Jon Barker performed a heroic fireman’s lift, which was only surpassed when the second (somewhat larger male) decided he wanted the same treatment and quite literally jumped on him! The casualties were taken safely ashore to the emergency services on scene and the casualty vessel was towed and secured at Richmond Bridge Boat Club.’
Chiswick RNLI Helm, Neil Ceconi said ‘We arrived just before Teddington RNLI Lifeboat to find a small dinghy pinned by the strong ebb tide against moored craft and in danger of capsize. We took four casualties on board before the situation deteriorated. Teddington RNLI secured the dinghy while we checked that the casualties were unharmed. As a large vessel was moored at the nearby pier it was very helpful to coordinate with Teddington RNLI so that their crew could land the casualties at a slipway in the smaller D class lifeboat.’
Teddington RNLI Helm Jon Chapman summed up Toby’s performance: ‘Tobes is very modest. This was his first shout as Helm. And he wasn’t bad at all!’
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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.