Man threatening to leap into Thames ‘saved stranger’s life’

17:34 13 March 2014

Crew members from the RNLI

Crew members from the RNLI's Tower lifeboat station, the charity's busiest in the country (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

2014 Getty Images

A man threatening to leap into the Thames from London Bridge last night inadvertently saved a stranger from drowning.

Lifeboat crew were called out around 11pm yesterday evening, and were stood down when police on the bridge talked down the distressed man.

But after being alerted by a passer-by pointing at the river, volunteers with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution spotted the head of a person bobbing in the water not far from the bridge.

“It was clearly a person underwater,” said Tower RNLI crew member Toni Scarr.

“We brought him aboard the lifeboat and found he was wearing a large duffel coat that had weighed him down.

“He was struggling to keep his face above the water. Although he seemed alert and spoke to the crew, he was apologetic and wasn’t sure who he was or how he came to be in the river.”

Back at Tower lifeboat station, waiting ambulance crew found the man was suffering hypothermia, with a body temperature of 33.1C.

Ms Scarr said the incident had been recorded as a “life saved”.

“Chances are if it hadn’t been for the lifeboat crew launching to the original incident, which was resolved by police before we were needed, he would never have been spotted and would have drowned,” she added.

“He was incredibly fortunate in that respect.

“We still don’t know how he came to be in the water but due to an unusual twist of fate we managed to avoid one more fatality on the River Thames last night.

“That first person who was threatening to jump from London Bridge but didn’t probably has no idea that, all things considered, he saved another man’s life.”

The RNLI is a charity, run and operated by volunteers. You can donate here.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, May 29, 2015
[Photo BBC]

An assault rifle used in seven unsolved murders in Northern Ireland has been found in an Imperial War Museum display cabinet.

Friday, May 29, 2015
[Photo Met Police]

An Ecuadorian studying at King’s College London sat next to the sleeping victim on the N13, put his hand down her jeans then led her off the bus and raped her in his Hampstead home.

Friday, May 29, 2015
[Photo Assemble and Simon Terrill]

The new sculpture playground is Brutalist - it is based on concrete playgrounds from the 1950s and 60s - but is made from reconstituted foam.

Friday, May 29, 2015
Police say they urgently want to speak to this man [Images from British Transport Police]

A woman from Newham was beaten so badly aboard a busy train at Canning Town that her teeth were broken and her lip was cut.

Friday, May 29, 2015
London24 have edited the racist slur out of the photograph [Original photograph by Mel Hughes]

Herne Hill residents were disgusted to see racist graffiti appear on the walls of a local jazz bar this week.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

Read more
The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more