Two Polish tourists had a more dramatic day out in London than expected when they were rescued by a lifeboat crew after being trapped by the tide on the Thames.

The man and a woman in their 20s were walking along the shoreline at Butlers Wharf on the north bank of the river near Tower Bridge when the fast-rising tide cut off their route back to the footpath above.

The pair were plucked to safety by an RNLI Tower lifeboat crew at around 3pm on May 23 after a 999 call for help to the Coastguard.

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Stan Todd, RNLI lifeboat helmsman, said: “When we arrived we could see the two standing on the 3ft of shore that was left exposed.

“It would not have been long before the area they were standing was completely covered by water.

‘I think they were shocked at how fast the tide had risen and cut off their way back up to the Thames path above.

“We got them onboard the lifeboat, gave them lifejackets and dropped them off at Tower pier.”

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Steve King, who is also an RNLI helmsman at Tower lifeboat station, said: “From time to time we do get called out to people cut off by the tide along the River Thames, particularly in the nice weather when people walk along the foreshore.

“The problem is they don’t realise how fast the water rises and it’s all too easy to get caught out.

“We would urge everyone to take extra care when spending time by the river, check tide times and always be aware of what the tide is doing around you.”

Last month, the Chiswick lifeboat crew rescued 60 people who were stranded on the Thames shore while watching the university boat race.