Unlike most coastal stations, which operate on pagers, In order to launch within 90 seconds, Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat is manned 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Each 12 hour shift has a crew of 4. The helmsman and mechanic are normally full time, the third and fourth crewmembers are normally volunteers.
Around 60% of the incidents relate to people in difficulty in the water or in danger of being in the water.
30% of rescues are to people in boats that have capsized, broken down or run aground.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency requires attendance at an incident within 15 minutes. This means the crew have 90 seconds from the time of the call to launch from Chiswick Pier. The Coastguard coordinate rescues on the Thames from a control centre in Woolwich.
The remaining 10% are a wide variety including cars in the river and animals in distress where the owners are at risk from attempting to save them.
All new crew undergo training on every shift as they progress from probationer. Crew also go to intensive courses at the RNLI lifeboat college in Poole in all aspects of boat handling, water safety and casualty care.
Week by week tally of services for 2010 – 2020
|Year||No. of incidents||Persons rescued|