Chiswick RNLI Rescue Man From Icy Water by Hammersmith Bridge

Alcohol and icy water a dangerous combination

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RNLI cold shock video

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A man has been rescued from freezing waters by Hammersmith Bridge in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Chiswick RNLI reports that in sub zero temperatures at 0.40am on Thursday morning, December 13, Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat was called by London Coastguard to reports of a man in the water near Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.

They found a man clinging to a life ring which was attached to cord held by someone on the shore.

The man was conscious but clearly very cold. After a quick assessment of his condition an ambulance was summoned to Chiswick Pier; the lifeboat proceeded there at full speed while the crew kept the casualty from getting any colder.

Once at the pier a paramedic came onboard and removed the wet clothes with assistance from the lifeboat crew. He was wrapped in blankets and taken by stretcher into the Pier house. His temperature on arrival at the pier was only 31.6 degrees.

Station manager Wayne Bellamy says: " This man was extremely cold and becoming hypothermic; his condition appeared to be worsened by alcohol. On such a cold night he would soon have succumbed to cold shock which would have made it impossible for him to save himself.

"This incident again illustrates the need for the RNLI 24/7 search and rescue service on the tidal Thames."

For more information about cold shock see the RNLI video here.

This is the third time in a month that Chiswick RNLI have been called on to pull someone from the Thames. On November 14, they were part of a combined rescue team pulling a man from the river near Putney Bridge, and on December 6, they were again called to the same location to rescue a man who was stuck in mud at the bottom of the embankment off Bishops Park.

All three rescues have proved successful, despite the freezing conditions.

Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland, Ssince starting service in 2002, has attended over 2190 incidents and rescued over 1000 people.


December 14, 2012

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