by Chiswick RNLI

Man still missing after extensive multi agency search

At 3.04pm on Wednesday 15 August 2018 Chiswick RNLI lifeboat was launched to investigate after passers-by had seen a man in the water being swept under the PLA driftwood barge in Corney Reach. They had not seen him surface again.

Corney Reach PLA driftwood barge in the distance

The barge is only a few hundred metres from the lifeboat’s mooring at Chiswick Pier so the crew arrived within a minute. They carried out an extensive search around the barge and a houseboat moored alongside.

Soon after, the Marine Police and the Port of London Authority launch arrived and with an incoming tide searched the river towards Chiswick Bridge. The London Ambulance Service paramedics arrived at Chiswick Pier and searched around the pontoons and moored vessels. A police helicopter also carried out a search along the river using its thermal imaging camera.

Despite all these efforts the man has not been found. London Coastguard has requested Chiswick RNLI crews continue the search today (Thursday).

RNLI helmsman Andy Mayo said, ‘This incident shows how dangerous the tidal Thames can be. The current can be very swift and catch people out. The exact circumstances are not clear and it is not appropriate to speculate at this time’.

RNLI Media contacts:

David Clarke, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 21 0500

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 1,730 people. As well as saving lives at sea around the coasts of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, the RNLI also plays a huge part in protecting people’s safety on some of our inland waterways including the River Thames, where it operates four lifeboat stations at Teddington, Chiswick, Waterloo Bridge (Tower Lifeboat Station) and Gravesend. Tower and Chiswick are the two busiest RNLI stations, responding to around 10% of the calls across all 238 RNLI stations in 2018. Unlike many other stations, Tower, Chiswick and Gravesend operate with a round-the-clock crew who are ready to launch within 90 seconds of an emergency call coming in. At each station, the full-time crew work alongside volunteers who come from all different 'day jobs' such as bankers, TV producers, civil servants, students and other emergency services, and give up their time to help save lives on the Thames.

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