Chiswick Lifeboat Responds To Emergency in Thick Fog

But 'excellent job in very challenging circumstances' not enough to save man's life

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Nine Incidents in 48 hours for Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat

Chiswick Lifeboat web site


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Early on Friday morning 19 November, Chiswick lifeboat was launched by the Coastguard to a report of a person in the water alongside Fulham Football Ground.

The crew found a man face down in the mud. He appeared to have fallen 20 feet from the river wall.

Initial assessment by crew members Andy Mayo and Ian Greatbatch established that the man was not breathing and had no pulse. While they tried to revive the man using the lifeboat’s defibrillator and CPR, helmsman Martin Blaker-Rowe summoned additional help.

Two officers from the Police Marine Support Unit assisted with the treatment while their boat collected a doctor and paramedics from Putney Pier.

Five minutes later the London Fire Boat Fire Flash arrived at scene and took over the treatment.

After a prolonged effort the doctor pronounced that the man was dead at 05.49. He informed the Lifeboat crew that they had done an excellent job in very challenging circumstances and had done everything possible. The doctor confirmed that the casualty had a massive head injury, a broken back, broken ribs, a broken leg and internal bleeding.

Helmsman Martin Blaker-Rowe commented “The drop from the river wall is higher than might be expected and can result in serious injuries; in this case the man’s injuries were so severe that the combined efforts of the Lifeboat Crew, doctor and paramedics were unable to save him.”

Throughout this incident fog made navigation on the river difficult with visibility down to two metres when the lifeboat returned to station. In these conditions the crew proceed cautiously with the help of the on board gps chart plotter and radar.

David Clarke


November 22, 2010

November 24, 2010