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Dramatic river rescue as rowing boat is split in two near London Eye

A police boat crew rescued seven people from the Thames on Sunday afternoon after their 12-metre rowing boat was split in two during a collision with a Thames Clippers passenger boat.

Dramatic river rescue as rowing boat is split in two near London Eye
The remains of the cutter are towed to Tower Lifeboat Station by a PLA Harbour Master vessel. Picture courtesy RNLI/Tower
Dramatic river rescue as rowing boat is split in two near London Eye
Picture courtesy RNLI/Tower

The crew of the RNLI lifeboat station on Victoria Embankment next to Waterloo Bridge were dispatched by London Coastguard at 1pm to an incident in the river by the London Eye.

The crew arrived at Waterloo Millennium Pier within a minute of launching to find that a Thames Clippers passenger boat had been involved in a collision with a 12-metre waterman's cutter. A cutter is a traditional rowing skiff.

The cutter had been split in two by the impact, leaving her seven crew members in the river. When the RNLI lifeboat crew arrived, a Thames police boat was already at the scene.

The police boat had rescued the seven rowers from the water amid debris from the cutter.

"We arrived on scene to find the rowers were safely aboard the police boat, but you could see all the debris of their rowing skiff around the boat in the water," said a spokesman for Tower RNLI lifeboat station.

"We put aboard one of our crew to carry out a first aid assessment on the rescued rowers.

"One man had minor injuries to his lower limbs but all seven were shaken and shocked by what had happened. The police boat accompanied the lifeboat back to Tower RNLI lifeboat station and all seven rowers were handed over to an ambulance where they were taken to hospital for further assessment."

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