Lambeth Bridge was closed as London Fire Brigade performed one of its more unusual rescues, which involved an abseiling firefighter.

The fire brigade along with Met Police and RNLI were called to reports of a man underneath the central London bridge at 5.55pm yesterday.

Emergency services closed the bridge in both directions and diverted traffic.

A man wearing tracksuit bottoms was clinging to the rafters of the bridge.

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Photo: @MPSonthewater

A firefighter was lowered over the side of the bridge, where he appeared to coax the man to safety.

The man swung from rafter to rafter, as though they were monkey bars in a playground, and then into the arms of the firefighter.

The two men were then lowered to a waiting fire brigade boat and whisked away.

A Met Police spokesman said the man had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.

Lawrence Dabir-Alai, 20, watched the drama from the embankment.

He said: "Firemen were talking to him for quite a long time and eventually they managed to convince him, apparently.

"I was a bit worried but his (exit) explains how he got up there."