RNLI lifeboat crews in London 'busiest in Britain'

School boys from Latymer Upper School are rescued by the RNLI Credit: RNLI

The RNLI's lifeboat stations in central London have been named the busiest in the UK. Tower RNLI lifeboat crew had their busiest ever year in 2014, having launched 543, rescued 104 people and saved 16 lives from the River Thames.

In November the RNLI crew were called to rescue a group of teenagers from Latymer Upper School whose boat had capsized after it hit a bridge.

While in August they saved a man who had fallen asleep on a wall and rolled into the River Thames.

Late night rescue of a man in August who rolled into the River Thames after falling asleep. Credit: RNLI

The Chiswick RNLI was the second busiest of the charities 236 lifeboat stations. They were called out 219 times, rescuing 116 people and saving 11 lives. This included the difficult late night rescue of a man near Battersea.

He had clearly been in the water sometime as he was very cold with his arms and legs locked around the chain as if he was frozen to it.

GARY TILLER, RNLI HELMSMAN
RNLI rescue in West London Credit: RNLI

Further west along the River Thames, Teddington RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew launched 69 times in 2014 and rescued 11 people. Combined, the charity's London lifeboats rescued 231 people in 2014 - enough to fill two-and-a-half of the capital's iconic double-decker buses. In total, RNLI lifeboat crews saved 27 people's lives in London last year.