River worker still fighting for his life
by Thom Morris
The Port of London Authority has praised a “hugely respected
legend” who is fighting for his life in hospital.
Michael Russell is spending his third week in hospital after
being crushed by a barge on January 18 while working for the PLA at
Denton Wharf in Gravesend.
The father-of-two, whose youngest child is just two months old,
is currently critical but stable.
PLA spokesman Martin Garside said: “Michael Russell is immensely
popular and hugely respected across the Port of London Authority
and the wider river community.
“A highly skilled and accomplished diver and rower, he is
something of a River Thames legend.”
His wife Natalie said the family were taking one day at a time
and “constantly praying he will pull through”.
Police and ambulances were called to Denton Wharf at 4.50pm on
The 37-year-old is a member of the Gravesend Rowing Club and won
the prestigious Doggett’s Coat and Badge in 1997, the oldest annual
boat race on the Thames.
A spokesman for the Port of London Authority said: “The
circumstances of the accident are being investigated by the PLA; we
have informed the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the
Health and Safety Executive.
“The PLA is giving its full support to the family of the
employee. Our thoughts remain with him and his family.”
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