Don’t drown your sorrows in the Thames, RNLI urges Euro 2016 fans

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 June 2016

Thames lifeboat to the rescue...

Thames lifeboat to the rescue...


Football fans flocking to bars and pubs along the River Thames for Euro 2016 this summer are being urged by lifeboat crews not to ‘drown’ more than their sorrows if their team loses.

Tower Lifeboat crew on rescue mission atTower BridgeTower Lifeboat crew on rescue mission atTower Bridge

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is making a launch of a different kind with its ‘respect the water’ safety campaign.

Crews from the RNLI’s Tower lifeboat station are expecting a busy month, fearing fans could risk their lives jumping, swimming or even slipping into the river fuelled by alcohol and bravado from watching matches and drinking in pubs on the waterfront.

“We are targeting men aged 16 to 39 who are most likely to get into danger or take unnecessary risks,” RNLI’s Adam Robson said.

“Pubs will be packed with fans drinking and enjoying the matches, but our concern is what happens afterwards, win or lose.

RNLI lifeboat with helmsman Craig Burn and crew members aboard [photo: Nathan Williams/RNLI]RNLI lifeboat with helmsman Craig Burn and crew members aboard [photo: Nathan Williams/RNLI]

“After a few pints, a dip in the river to cool off can feel tempting—but they could end up drowning more than their sorrows.”

The RNLI is urging the public to “respect the dangers” the Thames poses, with its powerful and unpredictable tides rising suddenly by as much as 20 feet in just four hours at Tower Bridge.

The cold water temperature also causes numbness and can prevent someone in danger calling out for help.

“People often don’t realise the Thames can to trigger ‘cold water’ shock,” Adam points out. “You start gasping uncontrollably, which can draw water into your lungs and cause drowning in minutes.”

Warning from RNLI to 'respect the water' of the ThamesWarning from RNLI to 'respect the water' of the Thames

Tower lifeboat station—the busiest throughout the British Isles—regularly gets called out to recue people trapped by the tide. Thames crews rescued 245 people and saved 19 lives in London last year alone.

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