UPDATE: Body of suspected missing swimmer recovered from Thames

By Oliver Monk

13th May 2024 | Local News

Ambulances, police cars, and lifeboats from RNLI Teddington attended the search for the missing swimmer on Sunday, 12 May. (Photo: Anonymous, used with permission)
Ambulances, police cars, and lifeboats from RNLI Teddington attended the search for the missing swimmer on Sunday, 12 May. (Photo: Anonymous, used with permission)

A body has been found in the River Thames at Barge Walk in Kingston.

The body was recovered by police officers at around 12:20pm today, Monday 13 May.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said: "Formal identification awaits, however officers believe this is the man who entered the water on Sunday."

Large numbers of emergency services were seen up and down the Thames after reports of a swimmer getting into difficulty.

In a 999 call at 6:41pm on Sunday 12 May, an eyewitness told police they had seen a swimmer get in but not out of the water along Barge Walk in Kingston.

The Met Police say the man had gotten into difficulty after entering the water to swim on the hottest day of the year so far.

According to the local RNLI station, London Ambulance Service and Hazardous Area Response Team, the London Fire Brigade and the National Police Air Service were at the scene.

The search was initially unsuccessful, with the two lifeboats on the scene returning to their Teddington station at around 10pm.

It was hoped the call was a false alarm, with a spokesperson from Teddington RNLI suggesting the swimmer could have instead gotten out of the river out of sight of the eyewitness.

"Someone could have taken their eye off the target," they added.

This year's seasonal tides are contributing to unusually high flow in the Thames, creating strong currents and high water levels that can prove unexpectedly risky for swimmers.

The lifeboat organisation is reminding river users of the potential danger of the water, especially as higher numbers of untrained individuals take to the water during the recent warm weather.

If you see someone in trouble in the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

More information regarding water safety can be found on the RNLI's website here.

     

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