A man who was rescued from the River Thames last night has been called ‘monumentally lucky’ by the firefighters who saved his life.
It is believed that the man was coming home from a night out when he decided to enter the water in Kingston. He was fully clothed but had placed personal possessions including his mobile phone on the side. When he realised he couldn’t get out of the water he fortunately was able to reach his phone and call 999.
Control Room Officer Doug Cawley received the call at 0412 from a person who said they were ‘a bit stuck in the river’ in Kingston. Mobile cell technology pinpointed the man’s location within a 50 metre radius and crews were quickly mobilised to Queens Promenade.
The location was very close to where a man had died a week earlier. The same crews from Surbiton and Kingston fire stations who had valiantly searched for the man last week were the firefighters mobilised to this emergency.
Kingston Watch Manager Ben Midgley said:
“When crews arrived they found a man waist deep in water and unable to pull himself out. We pitched a ladder at into the bank and helped the man to safety. He was starting to suffer from the effects of hypothermia so any longer in the water and this could have had tragic consequences. We sadly attended the tragic drowning of the man last week so it was really good that this had a much better conclusion.
“He was monumentally lucky and it shows the dangers of entering the water after a night out. Don’t drink and swim.”
The rescue was carried out within 20 minutes of the 999 call.
Had members of the public spotted the man in the water they would have been unable to throw in a nearby life ring as it had been set on fire just hours before. Surbiton Station Manager Justin Coo said:
“Setting fire to life rings is incredibly reckless and utterly reprehensible. The life ring was a stone’s throw away from the area the man was rescued from and this action could have easily resulted in loss of life.”
Surbiton firefighters were called to the life ring alight at 2308 and the fire was under control by 2317.