View as PDF

Chiswick RNLI praise man rowing coach for use of a lifejacket and kill cord

Lifeboats News Release

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew were called by the UK Coastguard at 11.51am on Saturday 9 September to reports of a rowing coach in the water in Barn Elms Reach.

The lifeboat crew found the coach in the water clinging to his boat. He told the lifeboat crew that his engine had stalled and when he tried to restart it the boat shot forward, propelling him into the water.

Thankfully, the lifejacket he was wearing automatically inflated and the kill cord attached to his jacket was pulled out of the engine, bringing the boat to a halt.

The lifeboat crew helped the coach back into his boat and stayed with him while he restarted the engine and escorted him back to his rowing club where he was met by fellow members.

RNLI helmsman Gavin Simmons praised the coach for his foresight and safety planning: ‘Having a functioning lifejacket and a kill cord plugged in meant that an uncomfortable incident did not turn into a tragedy.’

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland; since starting service in 2002, the lifeboat has attended more than 3,000 incidents and rescued more than 1,600 people.

RNLI media contacts

  • David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 21 0500
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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