London boasts the two busiest RNLI lifeboat stations in UK and Republic of Ireland.

The RNLI’s Tower lifeboat station in central London has been named the busiest. Located next to Waterloo Bridge in the heart of London, Tower RNLI lifeboat crew had their busiest ever year in 2014, having launched 543 times*, rescued 104 people and saved 16 lives on the River Thames.

Hot on its heels was Chiswick RNLI’s lifeboat crew who were today named the second busiest of the charity’s 236 lifeboat stations, launching 219 times, rescuing 116 people and saving 11 lives.

Further west, Teddington RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched 69 times in 2014 and rescued 11 people.

Combined, the charity’s London lifeboats rescued 231 people in 2014 - enough to fill two-and-a-half of the capital’s iconic double-decker buses.  In total, RNLI lifeboat crews saved 27 people’s lives in London last year. 

Gareth Morrison, Lifesaving Delivery Manager for the RNLI, said: ‘No other RNLI lifeboat stations are surrounded by a city of more than eight million people, which goes some way to explaining why our Tower and Chiswick crews are the busiest.

"And with London’s rising population likely to reach record levels, and millions more people set to use the River Thames for travel in the coming years, the RNLI’s London lifeboat crews life-saving work will become even more vital.

‘However, as a charity we can’t continue to save lives without the generosity and support of the public , so I’d like to thank everyone whose donations and fundraising work enabled us to save 27 lives and rescue 231 people in London last year.’

No day for an RNLI crew member is ever the same, with each ring of the emergency bell or bleep of the pager sparking a rapid response - within 90 seconds at the full-time stations – to potentially a multitude of emergencies.

Last year, notable rescues included:

The rescue of a man pulled from the icy waters of the Thames on a December evening. Read the full story and watch video here
Chiswick crew rescued a man who was close to freezing to death from the River Thames. Read the full story here
A man clutching a life ring was pulled from the River by Tower crew. Read the full story here
A group of nine teenage rowers were rescued by Chiswick RNLI after they capsized. Read the full story here
Tower crew saved the life of a woman who was close to drowning. Read the full story here.
Chiswick RNLI pulled people from the water when a rowing boat split in half and sank after hitting Barnes Bridge. Read the full story here
Chiswick lifeboat crew assisted after a narrow boat collided with a houseboat moored at a River Thames pier in Hammersmith. Read the full story here

Story dated Feb 2nd 2015