RNLI offers life-saving river training

RNLI offers life-saving river training

Training day: Riverside workers and residents were taught techniques

Training day: Riverside workers and residents were taught techniques

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Riverside workers and neighbours have been trained to save someone drowning in the Thames.

The RNLI teamed up with Richmond Council to provide river training on Richmond riverside on Tuesday, August 13.

Earlier this month, a man in his 20s drowned in the Thames by Hampton when he tried to swim across the river.

During the training, volunteers from Teddington lifeboat station gave water demonstrations and showed people how to throw a line into the water instead of jumping in.

Advice given by Teddington and Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crews to about 60 people at the free event was to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Teddington RNLI’s Tim James said: “People don’t realise exactly how cold the river is but we know that in less than nine minutes, your body will start to shut down, making it impossible to swim.

“This is faster when alcohol is involved. People then panic and then they could drown.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the river, but in a safe way. The important message here is that the river is not a swimming pool.

“It is full of risks – most you cannot see. This includes the powerful tides, undertows and sewage. Another event is set to take place on Twickenham riverside following the success of Tuesday’s training.

Richmond Council is set to buy a number of special throwing lines for nearby pubs and businesses.

Councillor Tony Arbour, cabinet member for safety, said: “There are many parts of the river, such as at Richmond, which are particular hot spots for incidents.

“This training course empowers the local community to make sure that they are prepared.”

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