London lifeboat crews were called out over 700 times last year and rescued 372 people from the Thames.
Twenty five of the rescues were classed as lives saved in which people are likely to have died without the intervention of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The charity’s annual statistics just released reveal Tower lifeboat station by Waterloo Bridge was the busiest in the UK and Ireland. Its crews were called out 492 times, rescued 128 people and saved 19 lives.
Tower, Chiswick and Teddington stations combined were called out 733 times. Fewer than 10% of incidents involved commercial vessels.
Peter Dawes, Regional Operations Manager for the RNLI, said: “To think that 25 people would have died last year in London if it weren’t for the bravery of our lifeboat crews is a sobering thought, but one we are immensely proud of.
"As long as people are in distress, the RNLI will be there to help. As a charity we rely on donations from the public so [the rescue] of those 372 people would not have been possible without the dedication of our fundraisers and the generosity of our extended family of supporters.”
Mr Dawes added: ‘Each year there are around 6.5 million passenger journeys taken on the River Thames, which averages out to about 17,800 a day. The Mayor of London is looking to increase this to 12 million passenger journeys a year by 2020 and there are also plans for further development along the river, bringing more people closer to water. All this will make the RNLI’s presence even more important."