Watch the dramatic rescue

A woman found floating unconscious in the Thames was saved in a dramatic operation by the crew of Chiswick RLNI Lifeboat station.

The station lifeboat was launched just after 5pm following reports of a 50-year-old woman in the water on Monday.

Arriving at the scene near Furnivall rowing club in Hammersmith the crew discovered rowing coach Henry Adams clinging onto the “lifeless” casualty attempting to keep her head out of the water.

She was dragged out of the water by the lifeboat crew who discovered she was not breathing and had no pulse.

Helmsman Gary Tiller, began resuscitating the woman, but when paramedics came on board it became apparent advanced life support was required and the lifeboat’s onboard defibrillator was prepared.

Station manager Wayne Bellamy said: “Gary continued to administer CPR, pausing only for the paramedics to use the defibrillator to shock the casualty on the deck of the lifeboat. After some time spent doing CPR and using the defibrillator, faint signs of life became apparent.

“CPR was later taken over by helmsman Paul Harrison and the woman’s condition began to improve further."

Once a reasonable pulse was discovered on the woman she was transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to hospital.

The station was contacted by the police a few hours later to say it was thought the casualty was unlikely to last the night.

However, on Tuesday morning the Chiswick station received the news the woman was still alive and in a stable condition.

Mr Bellamy said: “I am extremely proud of my lifeboat crew here at Chiswick RNLI for their quick action and their calm and considered lifesaving work under extreme pressure and a very tense environment.

“I also pay tribute to the amazing efforts of the rowing coach who assisted with the rescue and indeed to those who alerted the authorities to the sighting of this woman.

“This is clearly a case where, were it not for the intervention of this coach, the public who rang 999 and the RNLI lifeboat crew, this woman would have died.”

It is believed the woman may have entered the water deliberately.

A spokeswoman from the Met Police said they could not confirm the woman entered the water deliberately but said the incident was not being treated as a crime.