Lifeboatmen help police deal with London unrest

London lifeboats assisted police in dealing with the unrest in the capital today, when Tamil protesters demonstrated illegally in Westminster. The crew of Tower RNLI lifeboat pulled a demonstrator from the River Thames after he jumped from Westminster Bridge.

The rescue took place during a busy night and morning in which four lifeboats stood guard on the river. At one point approximately 900 protesters – demonstrating against the war in Sri Lanka – threatened to jump en masse into the river. In the end, one male in his 30s jumped from the bridge.

Tower lifeboat immediately went to the aid of the man and held him secure in the water near one of the bridge buttresses. A police boat then attended and pulled the man from the water, and escorted him to the river bank. He was taken to hospital but reported to be unhurt.

RNLI lifeboats from Chiswick and Gravesend lifeboat stations in London were also launched as well as boats from the police force, fire service and the London harbour master.