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

Monday, April 27, 2015
[Photograph by @TGE_LDNM]

Waterloo Station is standing room only as all routes in and out face sever delays after a person was killed by a train at Surbiton station.

Monday, April 27, 2015
Salah Mohammed was illegally touting for business near this carwash on Great Eastern Street when he picked up the victim [Image from Google StreetView]

A minicab driver has been jailed after picking up a woman in Shoreditch and taking to his friend’s house in Walthamstow, where she was raped.

Monday, April 27, 2015
@StevieJUk

A man has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after he fell from a second-floor shop window in the Royal Exchange in the City.

Monday, April 27, 2015
There are severe delays on the Victoria Line

A woman died in the early hours of this morning after she was struck by a Victoria Line train.

Monday, April 27, 2015
The Reclaim Brixton protest march on Saturday. Pic: Reclaim Brixton

On Saturday hundreds of protesters marched in Brixton to campaign against gentrification “pushing locals out of the area”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Read more
We have censored part of this image

Keith Fraser, the UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has apologised after retweeting an Islamophobic cartoon which looks similar to Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet yesterday morning.