Rowing Coach Dies During Training Session

Chiswick Lifeboat called out to incident near Kew Bridge

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Chiswick RNLI


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A man in his seventies suffered a fatal collapse in his training boat while coaching a young rowing team on the river near Chiswick at the weekend.

The incident happened on Saturday morning (28 October) as the team and coach were making their way along the river and were just past Kew Bridge.

It appears that the man became unwell during the training session and appeared to collapse while in his boat.

One member of the rowing team dived into the water to swim towards the coaching boat which was drifting. The boat was then brought ashore.

Another member of the team managed to contact the emergency services. The RNLI Chiswick lifeboat was launched.

The RNLI said, "On Saturday morning 28 October 2017 Chiswick RNLI lifeboat was called to a report of a rowing coach who had collapsed in his vessel near Kew Bridge.

"When the crew arrived the London Ambulance Service paramedics were already dealing with the casualty after the young rowers he was coaching had helped bring the coach’s vessel to shore.

"The rowers had seen that he was not himself then he suddenly slumped forward.

"Despite the treatment by the LAS paramedics, tragically, the coach did not recover.

"The young rowers were very cold and at least one had been in the water. They were taken on board the lifeboat, given blankets and taken back to their rowing club."

Details of the man's identity have not been revealed. It is believed those involved were members of a local rowing club.

The Chiswick Lifeboat had a number of call-outs that day.

The second shout later was to Kew Bridge; there was a concern that a person in distress might end up in the river; the coastguard had called Chiswick lifeboat in case this occurred. On this occasion the police on the bridge were able prevent this happening.

In the afternoon the third shout was to four veteran rowers whose boat had been holed in Syon Reach and was in danger of sinking. All four were taken on board the lifeboat along with their craft and taken back to their base.

A spokesman commented, ‘At the start of a pleasant autumn morning with light winds It promised to be a quiet day. This weekend showed how incidents can develop unpredictably. The rapid response to a varied series of incidents again showed the value of having the RNLI 24/7 dedicated search and rescue service on the Thames. We encourage anyone seeing someone in difficulties in the river to call 999.’

November 2, 2017

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