Volunteer crews from the RNLI were in a race against the tide to help the casualty on a riverbed at Woolwich


RNLI crews rescued a man who suffered spinal injuries after falling 25ft from a wall on the River Thames on Monday evening.

Volunteer crews rushed to help the casualty lying on an exposed riverbed at Woolwich, concerned for his safety as the tide began to rise.

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Tower lifeboat launched to the scene just before 7pm following a 999 call from the coastguard.

They arrived within minutes to find the man being treated by paramedics on the foreshore.

RNLI lifeboat helmsman Mick Neil said: “It appeared the two men were on a night out when one of them went over the handrail and fell about 25ft onto the exposed river foreshore below, injuring his spine.

“His friend then slid down the vertical river wall in an attempt to help him, suffering cuts, bruises and an injury to his ankle.

“We arrived to find the Met Police already on scene followed by London Ambulance Service. From the start the rescue was time critical as the rising tide was rapidly covering the area of ground we were all on. Initially the water was at his ankles but it quickly got up to his knees.”

Conscious of the rising tide, the casualty was put onto a spinal board as quickly as possible.

After securing him on board the lifeboat, the casualty’s friend, the police and paramedics boarded the vessel and were taken to Arsenal Pier where London Ambulance Service crew met them.