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.