Posted: 14.08.20 at 15:25 by Gianna Saccomani
Many of you may be forgiven for thinking that we have all suddenly moved to the Mediterranean climes of the South of France, such has been the increase in temperature.
The hot sunshine has changed our lives in the last few weeks, and especially in ‘Teddington on Thames’, as I like to call it!
Never before have so many waterborne vessels been seen out on the River Thames - from a lady on a green crocodile inflatable, to a six metre long pink unicorn, to a 27 metre long barge carrying a rib similar in size to the two orange D class RNLI Lifeboats we have at Teddington RNLI Lifeboat station, and not forgetting the hundreds of stand up paddle boarders.
They all have one thing in common - to enjoy the river during these glorious summer days and long balmy evenings.
However, there is also another thing they have in common - very few people were wearing any form of lifejacket or flotation device.
Even when the thermometer says 34°C, the water temperature in the Thames can be as cold as 12°C and finding yourself unexpectedly in the water can lead to cold water shock.
Cold water shock is the body's involuntary response to being suddenly immersed into cold water of around 15°C or lower, and this will seriously affect your breathing and capability to move.
Should you unexpectedly find yourself in the water, you should follow the advice of the RNLI's ‘Float to Live’ campaign which is a key message in the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, ‘Respect the Water’.
It urges people to follow this potentially lifesaving
advice if they find themselves in trouble in the water.
Fight your instinct to swim hard or thrash about – this can lead to breathing in water and drowning. Instead, relax and FLOAT on your back, until you have regained control of your breathing.
This Float to Live campaign recently saved a boy's life in Scarborough and you can read all about it HERE
Teddington RNLI Lifeboat Station, which is located on the River Thames opposite Teddington Lock, has been able to continue to respond to calls from the Coastguard to help people in trouble on the River Thames during the Covid 19 pandemic, using appropriate PPE. (personal protective equipment).
The station is crewed entirely by volunteers on call 24/7.
Finally, if you see someone in trouble in the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. Don't assume someone else has called for help.
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