Thames lifeboat rescues man trapped in mud by rising tide at Tower Bridge
- Credit: RNLI
A man taking photographs of Tower Bridge from the riverbed at Low Tide had to be rescued from the Thames this-afternoon when he became trapped in the mud as the tide turned. He was desperately clinging to a chain with the rapidly incoming water when the RNLI Tower lifeboat crew managed to reach him before he would have been dragged away—in a daring rescue caught on camera.
The man was taken to safety at St Katharine’s Pier in what was the second rescue of the day.
Just three hours earlier, a family of three were trapped against the embankment wall at Millbank by the Noon tide which had reached their waists.
The same lifeboat was on a training exercise with police and fire service boats when the crew spotted a young girl and her parents waving for help from the shoreline, several feet below the river wall, their escape route cut off by the rising water.
“The young girl and her parents were waving frantically from shoreline,” Tower lifeboat helmsman Craig Burn said later.
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“They were in a dangerous situation, pinned against the wall by the tide which had almost reached their waists.
“It would have only been minutes before they were swept away by the fast flowing flood tide.”
The Thames is having exceptionally low tides, the RNLI warns, which encourages sightseers to climb down to the exposed foreshore.
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“People don’t realise the Thames can flow faster than an Olympic swimmer can swim,” helmsman Burn said. “It can easy knock you off your feet and sweep you away.”
Sightseers should first check the times of rising tides before venturing onto the riverbed, the lifeboat charity urges—and be sure of a means of escape back to the embankment.