Two Spanish tourists and a London bar worker have been saved from drowning in the River Thames by an RNLI London lifeboat crew.
The bar worker had jumped into the treacherous water in a brave attempt to rescue the tourists but got into difficulties himself.
Video footage of the dramatic rescue was captured by Tower RNLI lifeboat crew who launched at 1.32 am on Tuesday morning.
They’d received reports of people in the water near Temple Pier, on the north bank of the Thames.
When the crew arrived they could see three people, aged in their twenties, clinging for their lives to the river wall, out of reach of a crowd of onlookers gathered on the Embankment above.
We could hear shouting as we arrived and someone in the crowd was flashing a light into the water to guide us to the casualties.
There were three men in the river who were trying to cling onto a bit of wall but the tide was sweeping them along. As the boat arrived on scene, one of the men lost his grip on the wall and sank below the water.
In a panic, he then grabbed one of the other men and pulled him from the wall, with both men now struggling to stay afloat. We arrived just in time and got all three safely aboard the lifeboat.
One of the men was suffering from hypothermia and the others were freezing cold. All three had swallowed a lot of water – they were lucky lads and could all too easily have died. We’ve chalked this up as three lives saved.
The bar worker helped these men by keeping them afloat but then found his own life in danger. His intentions were good, but our advice is never go into the River Thames to rescue someone. If you spot anyone in danger, call 999, ask for the Coastguard and an RNLI lifeboat will arrive within minutes.
The men were taken back to Tower lifeboat station and were handed into the care of London Ambulance Service.