A man and a woman were taken to hospital after their 30ft Dunkirk ship dramatically sank in the Thames.

The crew and their two cats had a lucky escape when they got into trouble in the water near Manor Road, Teddington, at about 6.30pm on Wednesday, June 13.

Paramedics arrived to find them and their pets cold and wet on the riverbank. The woman suffered a foot injury and an ambulance took them both to West Middlesex Hospital.

Tim Ody, lifeboat operations manager at Teddington’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station, said the passengers of the boat, thought to be Tantalus, which survived the Dunkirk landings in 1940, got into danger when they tried to attach a stern line instead of a bow line as they moored.

He said: “The boat swung round and, with [the] stream as fast as it was, immediately got washed over and started to sink.

“It then washed downstream and wrapped itself round the post at the top of the moorings outside the wharf.

“Two people managed to get on to the mooring with one cat and Teddington lifeboat rescued the other cat.

“We moved the tractor to the park and used it to pull the boat off the post - and it disintegrated - all the owners’ belongings and boat floated off downstream.”

A tug boat arrived the following day to salvage the sunken vessel.

A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service said: “We sent our hazardous area response team, one ambulance crew, a single responder in a car and a duty officer. Our staff treated two patients who were cold and wet and one was treated for a foot injury.”

Did you see the rescue? Call the newsroom on 020 8744 4275, or email pteed@london.newsquest.co.uk