Two people stranded on Chiswick Eyot by unusual conditions
Chiswick Lifeboat was on exercise on Thursday 12 March 2020 when the crew saw two women stranded on the upstream end of Chiswick Eyot. They were on a fast diminishing strip of shingle which was now isolated from the main part of the island.
The women had sensibly checked the tide tables which showed an ebbing tide. However the Thames Barrier had been lowered some hours before to keep out the incoming tide in order to create a reservoir for the high flows of rainwater from the Thames river basin. This means that the current is seen flowing downstream, so appears to be an outgoing tide, but the water level keeps rising as water gushes at full bore through open weirs upstream of the tidal section.
Crew members Tim Hallac and Sid Blake helped the two women on board the lifeboat. The crew checked they were unharmed (apart from damp feet) and swiftly returned them to Chiswick Pier.
RNLI helmsman Glen Monroe who has been on the crew since the station opened in 2002 said ‘These conditions where the river appears to be going out but levels are rising are unusual but do occur every year or two after very heavy rainfall. People can be caught out walking to islands and parking cars near the river. We can always be there in minutes to stop a tricky situation becoming more serious’
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 3,500 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
- 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 33678
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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.