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Last updated: 30/10/2018, 4:52 PM

Firefighters rescue man trapped in water near Waterloo Bridge

30/10/2018 16:45
Westminster
Incidents

Firefighters worked quickly to carry out a tricky and challenging rescue after a man got trapped in the water near Waterloo Bridge.

The man had been attempting to retrieve belongings when he became stuck between two sets of concrete barriers in around 10ft of water below the disused Savoy Pier, along Victoria Embankment.

Before they could start to rescue the man, crews had to set up portable lighting at various points due to the very poor visibility and also had to remove a metal security fence to gain access.

They then lowered a ladder from the side of the pier and secured it into place to allow a firefighter to make contact with the man and the RNLI rescue swimmer who was with him.

Crews then took down a further short extension ladder and firefighters in dry suits entered the water to assist the man onto the ladder and to safety where he was met by London Ambulance Service crews.

Watch Manager Shawn Howlett, who attended the incident on October 13th, said: “This was an extremely challenging and quite complex rescue operation.

“Lowering the second ladder was a tricky part of the operation due to the falling tide and current of the Thames, making the distance between the top of the barriers and the water level further and further apart.

“Time was certainly of the essence as there was a genuine concern the casualty could be taken out from beneath the structure as the tide got lower, possibly trapping them at the bottom of the pier.

“Although in a life ring, the man was clearly exhausted and it was with some real effort that crews were able to assist him from one ladder to the other.

“This rescue goes to show that firefighting is about so much more than putting out fires.”

The Brigade was called at 2022 and the incident was over for crews by 2111. Fire crews from Soho, Dowgate, Euston, Bethnal Green and Battersea fire stations as well as the fireboat were in attendance.

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