Sunday, July 20, 2008

London's Lifeboats

I took this photo during the week as crossed Waterloo Bridge on my way to Somerset House, where went to meet some family over a meal at the Admiralty restaurant before some of them went off to see the Zutons.

This is Lifeboat Pier, base of the RNLI's operations in London. There was some scepticism when it was opened, but that was quickly silenced as it has become the busiest lifeboat station in the UK. The second busiest is also on the Thames - at Chiswick.

Sadly a large part of its job relates to jumpers - suicides and cries for help from those that go on London's bridges and threaten or actually manage to jump.

It was on my mind during last week there was a rather sombre program on BBC 1 about the river police that focussed on this subject, and while most people were saved one wasn't.

London has many good aspects - but it is also a hard city. I'm glad the lifeboats are there for those that need it.

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