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Santa in Tower RNLI rescue alert on Thames after too many mulled wines

PUBLISHED: 16:16 21 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:16 21 December 2015

'Santa rescue' alert... RNLI's Tower Lifeboat crew

'Santa rescue' alert... RNLI's Tower Lifeboat crew

RNLI

Fears for a lost Santa in the River Thames sparked a major search-and-rescue mission for the RNLI’s Tower lifeboat crew.

'Santa rescue' alert... Tower lifeboat helmsman Stan Todd'Santa rescue' alert... Tower lifeboat helmsman Stan Todd

The charity’s lifeboat was launched at 6.18am yesterday following a Coastguard report of a “lost Santa” last seen by his friends.

He had been drinking a few too many mulled wines and it was feared he ended up in the drink.

“Santa had been on a stag night on Saturday evening and into the early hours of yesterday and lost his friends,” Tower lifeboat helmsman Stan Todd revealed.

“He got separated from them on the way home. His mates to get him on his phone without success.”

Santa’s pals fearing for his safety called 999 after last seeing him near the Embankment at Hungerford Bridge.

The Coastguard requested the lifeboat launch.

But all seemed well by the time the lifeboat arrived at the scene.

The man dressed as St Nick was seen walking safely off the bridge accompanied by a policeman.

The run up to Christmas is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s London crews. Tower lifeboat station is by far the busiest in the British Isles all year round, but especially at Christmas.

Adam Robson, the RNLI’s London incident manager, said: “People are out drinking during the run up to Christmas, but need to take extra care by the Thames.

“Slips, trips or falls can happen too easily. Plunging into the biting cold water can cripple even the most accomplished swimmer, causing uncontrollable gasping, drawing water into the lungs and making it almost impossible to swim or even stay afloat.”

The RNLI is urging Christmas revellers not to let a drunken trip or fall turn into a life or death situation—but to take extra care around the river.

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