Woman Drowns after Falling from Boat Near Wandsworth Bridge

Tragedy after Chiswick RNLI responds to late night call for help

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A woman drowned in the Thames this Tuesday night (8 December) despite the best efforts of the Chiswick RNLI crew to save her.

They were called by the coastguard just before midnight to a report of two people in the water in Battersea. Local residents had heard screaming and pleas for help coming from the river. The Lifeboat arrived a few minutes later to find a man, soaking wet, on the foreshore. The crew took him on board the Lifeboat and landed him at nearby Plantation Wharf.

Late night rescue - library photo from the RNLI

The man confirmed that he had been in a small boat with a female companion who was still missing. The Lifeboat crew immediately started a search up river following the incoming tide. The Police helicopter joined in the search and found a heat source in the river above Wandsworth Bridge. The helicopter crew directed the Lifeboat to the location where the Lifeboat crew found a woman face down in the water.

She was taken on board and the crew commenced resuscitation while proceeding upstream. At Putney Pier the woman was handed over to the care of London Ambulance paramedics who continued with CPR. At that time the outcome was unclear but unfortunately the woman was later pronounced dead. The man was taken to hospital.

A Metropolitan Police Service spokesman said the man’s condition was not thought to be life-threatening and the incident is not being treated as suspicious.

The Evening Standard are reporting that the couple had hired the speedboat for a late night date. The vessel was recovered from the Thames this morning.

December 9, 2015