Lifeboats in Teddington among country's busiest
Volunteers at Teddington RNLI are some of the busiest in the country.
Crew members at Teddington, Chiswick, Gravesend and Tower Bridge launched lifeboats 884 times in the past year.
The life-saving charity said Thames lifeboats spent 2,012 hours afloat and rescued 270 people in 2012.
Teddington, which is the only Thames station to rely entirely on a crew of volunteers, was ranked the 21st busiest out of the 236 stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Tower Bridge and Chiswick were the busiest stations.
Callouts in the past year included 592 individuals in danger in or near the water, of which 364 calls were to people suspected to have deliberately put themselves in danger or harm’s way.
There were also 76 calls to commercial vessels and 143 launches to help people in sail, engine or people-powered leisure vessels.
Andrew Ashton, divisional operations manager for the RNLI, said it was a busy year for the charity especially with the Queen’s diamond jubilee river pageant and the Olympic Games.
He said: “It is no wonder our lifeboat crews had another busy year. Of course, we can only do what we do, and help those in distress, thanks to the generous support of fundraisers and supporters.
“As a charity, independent of the Government, we rely on these contributions to continue our work. For that, the RNLI says a huge ‘thank you’ to the public for their continuing support.”