Chiswick RNLI rescue Oxford Ladies during training session
While passing through Putney on exercise yesterday morning, the crew of the Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat noticed
some unusual manoeuvrings on the water just beyond Fulham railway bridge.
A few moments later they
realised that an eight had swamped and the coaches were in the process of removing athletes to a nearby
barge. Strong wind against tide had created choppy conditions and three successive waves poured over the
boats' riggers, creating an influx of water that could not be managed by the craft's bilge pump.
The Oxford crew and their cox were boarded onto the Chiswick lifeboat and returned to Putney. The sunken
eight was then recovered by three coach’s launches and safely returned to Oxford’s base.
RNLI helmsman Ian Owen commented:‘While we have rescued quite a number of rowers over the years, this
is the first time I’ve been involved in helping such a prestigious team. The weather can be unpredictable on the
Thames, and the Oxford University team dealt with the situation as safely and calmly as possible. We wish
them all the best for their upcoming race.’
Chiswick Lifeboat always has a busy day during the Boat Race, on several occasions in the past they have
picked up overenthusiastic
supporters from the river. This year the crew will also be overseeing the RNLI’s
Alternative Boat Race on the day before, 10 April. 250 sponsored model Lifeboats will be completing the final
stages of the Boat Race course with the help of the incoming tide. The winning sponsor will be able to name a
new D class lifeboat. There are still a few boats available to sponsor.
The Alternative Boat Race can be viewed from the towpathat Barnes from 5.30. It will also be broadcast
April 3, 2015