Two nude swimmers taking a dip in the River Thames to cool off during the heatwave have sparked a water safety plea from the RNLI’s London Lifeboat crews.
London’s Tower RNLI lifeboat crew launched to a report of the naked duo, a man and a woman, swimming in the river near Borthwick Wharf, at Deptford, at 3.39am this morning 2nd July.
Officers aboard a MET Police boat that patrols the River Thames were also on scene and one of them spotted two naked people running away from the water and into some bushes.
Shortly after, one of the skinny dippers emerged from the bushes, this time with some clothes on, to explain themselves.
Despite emerging unhurt, the pair were told of the danger they had put themselves in by swimming in the river and were urged not to make a repeat performance.
The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea and on the River Thames, is urging people not swim in the river.
Kevin Maynard, Tower RNLI lifeboat station manager, said:
London may be gripped by a heatwave but swimming in the River Thames is incredibly dangerous and we would strongly advise people not to do so. These two skinny dippers were lucky to escape unhurt as they had put themselves in a potentially life or death situation.
The River Thames in London has very strong currents that can easily sweep you away. Combine this with the high number of obstacles in the river and swimmers can all too easily find themselves dragged under the water.
There is also the danger of cold water shock. Despite the hot weather, the river water is still very cold and sudden exposure can cause uncontrollable gasping for air which leads to you gulping down water causing a real risk of drowning.
If you’re suffering from the heat there are better and much safer ways to cool down than putting your life at risk by swimming in the River Thames.