The Chiswick Lifeboat station was busy over Christmas, with call outs on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 27th December. Chiswick is one of the few RNLI stations with a crew on permanent standby 24/7.
Their work is being featured in the BBC TV documentary, Saving Lives at Sea at 8.00pm on BBC Two, Thursday 7 January 2021, along with that of RNLI crews at Lymington and Poole. The Chiswick crew rescues a lot of people, but also a fair few animals, amongst them this rather ungrateful cat, who was easy enough to find, but proved harder to pick up.
Last year, the lifeboat crews and lifeguards around the UK and Ireland raced to the aid of over 9,400 people. All its staff are volunteers. Chiswick RNLI managed to hold one fundraiser in February before fundraising operations were shut down for the year. They have a fundraising page here.
While they have dealt with fewer emergencies among the usual community of river users – canoeists, rowers and boat owners – they have helped more people who have been cut off by the tide while out walking, as people unfamiliar with the Thames sought less busy locations for getting out and about during lockdown.
The total number of incidents they were called out to in 2020 was 186, including a last minute entry – a call which came in at 23.49 on New Year’s Eve. Similar to totals for 2016 and 2017, their tally was 37 below the average for the last eleven years, reflecting the lack of leisure activity during lockdowns.
They have started the new year with three call outs on New Year’s Day and one on Saturday 2 January.
Images above: Pictures of some of Chiswick RNLI’s rescues in 2020, including two guys whose motorbike got stuck in the mud and a rather bedraggled fox saved by a canoeist
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: RNLI crew rescues ungrateful cat
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