Press Notice No: 114-11 28 April, 2011
At 05.35 pm today, London Coastguard received multiple 999 calls from members of the public reporting a man attempting to swim across the River Thames from Kingston.
The man reported that the swimmer whilst part way across disappeared below the surface. A man from a passing vessel entered the water to try and locate the swimmer but had to get back onto his vessel after being unsuccessful.
London Coastguard requested the launch of both Teddington RNLI lifeboats, the Met Police and London Ambulance services were also in attendance. London Fire Brigade mobilized their fireboat Fireflash, six fire appliances, three fire and rescue units which deployed two rescue boats and a command unit. The police helicopter India 99 also conducted a search from the air.
The search has now been stood down with no trace of the swimmer.
Matt Leat, London Coastguard Operator said:
Swimming across the River Thames can be extremely hazardous. It is a very busy waterway and has a strong tidal flow. The water temperature is about 10 degrees C, and the effects of cold water immersion can soon take effect.
If you see someone in trouble dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.