by Ira Lorandos
A RNLI crew caught a man in mid-air as he fell off a river railing by the Angel pub in Rotherhithe last week.
The man found himself on the wrong side of the railing last Thursday evening as he dangled with his legs entangled in chains about 12ft from the water below.
Peter O’Sullivan, manager the Angel, said: “I saw a man in his 50s-60s standing on the other side of the river railing with an empty bottle of sherry in his hand. I asked him twice to come back behind the railing but he refused.”
The 24-hour search and rescue service were called at the request of London Coastguard and quickly arrived on the scene spotting the man on the edge of the south bank of the River Thames at Rotherhithe.
Mick Nield, Tower RNLI lifeboat helmsman, said: “With only a few seconds to act before his arms would have given way under his weight, we rapidly manoeuvred the lifeboat underneath him to avoid him entering the river.
“One of my crew then quickly untangled the man’s legs from the chains and as he did literally caught him as he fell before getting him onto the foredeck of the lifeboat.”
The RNLI lifeboat crew took him across the river to Wapping Police Pier where he was handed into the care of police officers.