Tower RNLI lifeboat rescued a 16-year-old from the Thames on Sunday after he jumped into the water following a dare from friends

A teenager was rescued from the
river Thames on Sunday after jumping into the water near
Westminster as part of a dare.

The lifeboat crew from Tower RNLI had been
on another callout when they heard radio traffic from passenger vessels nearby alerting
them to a boy in the water.

The crew headed to the scene immediately to
find the 16-year-old, who had almost disappeared below the waterline.

The boy, who suffered no major injuries,
revealed that he’d been dared by his friends to jump into the river so they
could film the stunt and post a video on the social networking site YouTube.

The rescue has been chalked up by the
charity as a “life saved” – a specific criteria which states that without the intervention
of the lifeboat, the boy would surely have died.

Tower RNLI helmsman David Norman, said: “We
learned afterwards that his mates had dared him to jump from Westminster Bridge
and they would film it to put online.

“It happens – but time and time again
people just do not realise what the conditions of the River Thames can be like.
It can be very cold – granted, not so much at this time of year – but the
currents can be vicious.

“It strikes me that peer pressure can be a
very powerful thing, and when it leads to incidents like this, it nearly a cost
a young man his life.”

“It seems he entered the water and
immediately found it hard to stay afloat, swallowing water. When we got to him
you could just about see his face and hand above the waterline. A few seconds
later and he’d have gone under. He had a lucky escape.”

Following the rescue, the boy was taken
back to the lifeboat station where he was assessed and put into the care of a
crew from the London Ambulance Service.

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