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Tower lifeboat rescues man with leg injuries on work barge

Lifeboats News Release

Tower RNLI lifeboat crew have come to the aid of a contractor worker who sustained injuries on a barge after apparently getting his lower left leg caught between a large static steel pole and several timber beams which were being craned.

The RNLI crew, who were filming with a tv crew at the time, came across the incident on the north bank of the Thames just up from Blackfriars Bridge on Thursday 19 April at 5.20pm. They informed the London Coastguard and requested support from the duty Tower lifeboat crew based by Waterloo Bridge.

On arrival the man, believed to be in his late 40s, was laid prone on the work barge. RNLI crew members were landed onto the barge to give assistance to the man who was in considerable pain, but remained conscious throughout.

Although there was no definitive proof of a fracture the crew, who receive world-class training in casualty care, determined that due to the cause of the injury, the swelling in the lower leg and the level of pain it was likely to have occurred. Therefore the RNLI team formed a plan to stabilise and immobilize the man on site and then transfer him to the barge’s stretcher.

The stretcher was then craned into the Tower lifeboat that was nosing against the barge, just below where the man was lying. The crew also requested an easing of river traffic in the area so the man could be transported safely on the river and arrangements were made to meet the London Ambulance Service back at the lifeboat station pier.

Once the stretcher and man were secure in the lifeboat, the two RNLI vessels made their way back to station where a bicycle mounted paramedic was waiting. The stretcher was moved off the lifeboat onto the station and duty of care was handed over to the paramedic. The man was then taken to hospital by ambulance and the lifeboat stood down at 6.35pm.

RNLI media contacts

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer (London/East/South East) on 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk or the RNLI Press Office 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 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

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