|Chiswick RNLI Release Video of Dramatic River Rescue|
"Crews did a fantastic job and acted extremely quickly"
Chiswick RNLI have released a video of the crew from its lifeboat station speeding to help in the "multi-agency" rescue of a man seen jumping off Putney Bridge into the Thames at lunchtime on March 19.
You can see the video below.
Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat was alerted by London Coastguard after several reports of a man entering the water from the bridge. A spokesman says: " The Lifeboat arrived a few minutes later at 1.30pm. There was no sign of the man close to Putney Bridge, so the crew quickly proceeded to Fulham rail bridge, a few hundred metres downstream, where a London Fire Brigade crew was already assisting the casualty.
"The man was severely agitated and in some distress, but had managed to hold onto a heaving line thrown by the firemen.
"Three RNLI crew were landed ashore where volunteer crewman Graham Hill assessed the casualty. Shortly afterwards the HEMS air ambulance landed on the foreshore nearby. The HEMS doctor and paramedic took over the medical assessment and stabilised the casualty sufficiently for him to be moved.
"The fireboat transferred the lifeboat’s basket stretcher to the foreshore as it was able to go closer in very shallow conditions. The lifeboatmen and firemen combined to transfer the casualty into the stretcher.
"The two crews then hauled the basket stretcher up onto the bank where the casualty was transferred into the care of the London Ambulance Service. "
Altogether the dramatic rescue was attended by firefighters from Fuham, Wandsworth annd Battersea, plus the Fire Brigade's fire boat, the HEMs air ambulance, the MPS Marine Policing Unit, London Ambulance Service and local police officers as well as the lifeboat.
Chiswick RNLI Helmsmen Peter Knightsaid: " The combined skills of the various agencies were needed to safely recover this man in difficult circumstances.
"The close cooperation is the result of regular contact and the multi-agency training exercises which take place on the Thames every year.
The drama began at around 1.20pm when horrified onlookers saw the man jump from the bridge into the river.
As emergency services were called to the scene, people began tweeting in disbelief about what was happening.
Dean O'Reilly, @deanoreilly tweeted: "
Guy jumps off Putney bridge in the cold right now &casually swims
Alicia Robinson, @aliciarobinson1 said: " Think a body has been found in the Thames near Putney Bridge, 2 helicopters, 2 rescue boats."
According to witnesses, the man was apparently attempting to swim eastwards, but was finally lifted out at around 15pm by rescue teams close to Putney rail bridge and onto the shore at Hurlingham Mansions in Fulham.
Around 3pm police said that the man was on his way to hospital in a stable condition.
March 19, 2013