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Body recovered from River Thames

Boulter's Lock Credit: Google Maps

The body of a woman in her 50s has been recovered from the River Thames at Boulter’s Lock in Lower Cookham Road.

Police officers were called to the riverside yesterday (Saturday) morning.

A woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her next of kin have been informed. The death is being treated as unexplained.

Police refer themselves to IPCC over drowned teenager

Ellis Downes died after experiencing difficulties while swmming in the River Thames

The Thames Valley Police force has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission regarding the way it carried out the recovery operation to find a teenager who went missing in the River Thames.

Ellis Downes, 16, was last seen swimming in the River Thames at Culham on the night of Saturday 7th May. The area between Abingdon Lock and Culham Lock was closed for the search operation to take place.

Ellis' family were critical of the way the police handled the recovery operation. The teenager's body was found by a private team of divers on Monday night.

The River Thames near where Ellis was found

“I can confirm that Thames Valley Police have referred themselves to the IPCC with respect to the handling of the search for Ellis. We are aware of the family and community concerns around our actions following this tragic incident and the referral was made this morning (11/5). I expect the IPCC to respond with a decision on how the IPCC wishes the investigation to be managed.”

– Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Ross, Thames Valley Police


It's official: public vote choses name for Reading bridge

The new crossing in Caversham opened in September 2015

A name has been chosen for Reading's new pedestrian and cycle bridge following a public vote.

The shortlist included four potential names:

  • Christchurch Bridge
  • Cusden Bridge
  • De Montfort Bridge
  • William Marshal Bridge
Local residents started using the structure as soon as it was opened

The consultation ended at 5pm today, and by popular vote the crossing at Caversham which opened last September will now be called 'Christchurch Bridge'. The crossing over the River Thames links the Christchurch Meadows park to the town centre and Reading railway station.

Grieving family of Kent woman call for life-jackets on speedboats

The family of a woman from Kent killed during a boating accident on the Thames have spoken of their shock.

Charli Brown from Welling died after she was thrown out of a speedboat. The 24 year old was on a first date with a man she'd met online.

Charli's family say she wasn't wearing a lifejacket, and they're now calling for the law to be changed. Malcolm Shaw heard from Charli's sister Katie Brown.

Woman found clinging to a life ring rescued from River Thames

A woman found clinging desperately onto a life ring in the River Thames has been rescued.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service say the woman was 'cold and disorientated' when they found her.

They were called to help the woman yesterday morning, who had fallen in near Thames Street in Oxford shortly before.

An ambulance took her to John Radcliffe Hospital for checks, while boats and helicopters continued to search for a man who was also thought to be missing. He was later found safe and well.

The woman was very cold and disorientated when we found her. The life ring had offered her some support until a full rescue could take place.

– Gary Dawson, Watch Manager


Flood warning in Twyford following yesterday's rainfall

A flood alert has been issued by the Environment Agency, warning people of possible flooding for the Lower River Loddon at the River Thames confluence including Twyford, Charvil and Wargrave.

Levels are expected to continue to rise today and flooding of low lying land and roads is expected this afternoon, especially in the Twyford area.

Local residents are urged to follow these safety tips:

  • Be prepared to protect yourself, family, pets and property.
  • Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for up-to-date flooding information.
  • Keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions.
  • Visit the Environment Agency website for river level and flooding information.
  • Tune into weather, news and travel bulletins on local television and radio.
  • Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.

Make-over for locks along the River Thames

Locks along the River Thames to get refurbishment Credit: ITV news

Eleven locks along the River Thames will be refurbished this winter now that the Environment agency is investing nearly 1.8 million pounds in the scheme. Some locks will be closed for a time, but the renovation work will see improved navigation routes for boaters and visitors along the water.

The River Thames is used by millions of people each year - from boaters and walkers, through to anglers and those attending various events all along the river. The Environment Agency will invest the money between September 2014 and March 2015. Among the locks set to benefit are Abingdon Lock , Caversham Lock, Marlow Lock and Cookham Lock.

Safe recovered from the River Thames

Kent Police is appealing for information after a safe was recovered from the Thames at Greenhithe.

At 8.09am on Sunday 27 July, officers received a report that two men had been witnessed throwing a safe over the seawall into the river at Sara Crescent.

The safe was recovered later that day at Denton Wharf. It appeared as though it had been damaged. Inside was a set of digital scales and other objects too water-damaged to be identified.

This safe was recovered from the River Thames Credit: Kent Police

A 22 year old man from Sittingbourne was arrested hours later on suspicion of theft and bailed pending further investigation until 27 August.

We have reason to believe this safe was stolen before it was dumped but are looking for information to help us establish the circumstances around the theft and to try to help us locate its owner. 'I'd ask anybody with information to call me on 01474 366042. Alternatively, to remain anonymous, call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.'

– Investigating officer, DC Bill Looker

River traffic to resume under Whitchurch Bridge in Berkshire

Whitchurch Bridge is due to reopen to river traffic today despite delays in reconstruction caused by the floods.

It will not be reopened to road traffic until September and navigation will be restricted for the next six months.

River traffic is to be allowed under the Whitchurch Bridge once again Credit: ITV Meridian

The Edwardian toll bridge on the non-tidal river links Pangbourne in Berkshire with Whitchuch in Oxfordshire. Work has been at a virtual halt since early this year when river levels started to rise.

A notice from Environment Agency Harbourmaster Matt Carter said: "The width of navigation will be restricted to varying degrees throughout the ongoing works. The minimum navigation width will be 7 metres.

"When this is in operation, one-way river traffic will be managed by the contractors during lock keeper hours of duty. To permit safe navigation, a buoyed channel will be in place and this will be lit between sunset and sunrise.

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