Teddington RNLI crew rescue lorry driver trapped in the Thames

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew from Teddington Lifeboat Station were tasked at 3.26pm yesterday (Thursday 3 March) to reports that a skip lorry had slipped into the River Thames and its driver was trapped in his cab.

Photo of the RNLI lifeboat and the partially submerged lorry.


The RNLI lifeboat and the partially submerged lorry.

The incident happened at high tide. When the lifeboat arrived on scene at Water Lane, Twickenham, the water in the cab was already up to seat level. Once there the lifeboat crew assisted the London Fire Brigade to rescue the driver.

The Fire Brigade had secured the skip lorry to stop it moving further into the river, but they were unable to get into the cab because it was half underwater in the river. The level of the tide and pressure of the water meant the driver was unable to open the doors to escape.

The RNLI crew in a D class lifeboat manoeuvred alongside the lorry and using a hammer from the fire engine were able to break the passenger window to rescue the driver, who by that point was standing on the seat to keep his head above the waterline. He was taken onto the lifeboat and returned to the river bank.

Teddington volunteer helm Toby Banks said: ‘The excellent coordination between all the emergency services on scene allowed us to swiftly rescue the driver from his partially submerged lorry cab. He was understandably relieved once we’d got him onto the boat and then into the hands of the ambulance crews’.

Media Contacts:

Teddington Lifeboat Station Deputy Press Officer Gianna Saccomani (07798) 905515 [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer RNLI London and the SE (07785) 296252 [email protected]

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