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Teddington RNLI called to 50ft barge adrift in Kingston upon Thames

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Teddington RNLI lifeboat station launched to reports of a 50ft barge adrift in the vicinity of Kingston riverside.

At 11.10pm on Tuesday 7 June, Teddington’s D-Class lifeboat was launched at the request of London Coastguard to assist with a large barge which had broken away from its riverside berth in Kingston upon Thames, South West London. 
Having been at crew training hours before, the crew re-assembled at Teddington lifeboat station and readied their lifeboat Peter Saw for service. Following approval from Charlie Molloy, Teddington’s Deputy Launch Authority, the boat was launched and headed upstream to Kingston.

Helm James Kavanagh and his crew, Manon Jones and Kay Whittaker, reported on scene minutes later to find several local policemen trying to persuade a man out of the river, after he had entered the water to try to recover his barge.

James said: ‘When we arrived the owner of the barge was waist deep in the water trying to pull his boat towards the Middlesex side bank. Before we began working to recover the barge, we had to ensure than the man was out of the water and safe.’

The police were finally able to help the gentleman out of the water. Once his safety was confirmed, the RNLI crew began to assess how best to secure the 50ft barge.

RNLI crew member, Manon, said: ‘The barge wasn’t in great condition and strong points to secure to were limited, both on the boat and on the riverside. There were also dogs on the barge, which meant we could not go aboard.’

With the assistance of the police, a secure ring to tie was located about 50 metres upstream. A short tow was rigged and helm James manoeuvred the vessel to its new berth.

Once the barge was secure the crew reported the evening’s conclusion to the Coastguard and headed back in thunder and lightning to Teddington lifeboat Station for recovery. The boat was recovered at 12.30am and the crew returned home and to bed at 12.50am.

The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, also operates two other lifeboat stations in London, Chiswick and Tower (next to Waterloo Bridge) and one further down the River Thames in Kent, at Gravesend. 


RNLI media contact

• Manon Jones, Teddington Press Officer, 07715 271667 /
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / 
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789



Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland