Tower RNLI rescued a 16-year-old teenager from the river Thames on Sunday after jumping into the water near Westminster as part of a dare frrom his friends.
The crew headed to the scene immediately to find the 16-year-old, who had almost disappeared below the waterline.
The boy, who suffered no major injuries, revealed that he’d been dared by his friends to jump into the river so they could film the stunt and post a video on the social networking site YouTube.
The rescue has been chalked up by the charity as a “life saved” – a specific criteria which states that without the intervention of the lifeboat, the boy would surely have died.
Tower RNLI helmsman David Norman, said: “We learned afterwards that his mates had dared him to jump from Westminster Bridge and they would film it to put online.
“It happens – but time and time again people just do not realise what the conditions of the River Thames can be like. It can be very cold – granted, not so much at this time of year – but the currents can be vicious.
“It strikes me that peer pressure can be a very powerful thing, and when it leads to incidents like this, it nearly a cost a young man his life.”
“It seems he entered the water and immediately found it hard to stay afloat, swallowing water. When we got to him you could just about see his face and hand above the waterline. A few seconds later and he’d have gone under. He had a lucky escape.”
Following the rescue, the boy was taken back to the lifeboat station where he was assessed and put into the care of a crew from the London Ambulance Service.
A 36 ft long humpback whale was found dead in the Thames Estuary early yesterday morning.
After the mammal was found by a passing tugboat near the Isle of Sheppey in Kent the coastguard issued a navigation warning to any vessels in the nearby area, alerting them of the huge floating carcass.
The whale has now been towed away and a post-mortem will be conducted by the Natural History Museum.
This unusual incident illustrates that there are all sorts of hazards out there for sailors, even in the Thames Estuary.
This is a prime example of why you should plan your journey in detail before you set sail. Not only do you need to know what obstacles you may encounter on route but you need to consider water levels especially after periods of heavy rain.
The crew of a luxury pleasure boat needed rescuing after getting stuck under a bridge on the River Thames.
Have you checked the water levels and do you know the height of your boat?