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The Medway Coastguard team were called out after man swims from Chatham to Strood

By Lynn Cox

A man who swam the width of the River Medway on yesterday evening (Sunday) has prompted a safety warning from the Coastguard.

The Medway Coastguard team were called out at about 7.20pm after reports a man was in difficulty in the river near the Command House pub in Chatham.

A 999 call was made by someone who reported an inebriated man was attempting to swim across the river.

Coastguard crews were called to Royal Oak Point. File picture
Coastguard crews were called to Royal Oak Point. File picture

The Medway Coastguard team and the Sheerness RNLI inshore Lifeboat were sent to the scene but when they arrived discovered the man had reached the other side and had got out of the water near businesses at Riverside, on Medway City Estate.

Richard Rodgers, deputy station officer for the Medway Coastguard team, said: “We dispatched team members to both sides of the river at Chatham and at Strood.

“We could see someone had entered the water as there were muddy footprints from the steps leading into the river at the Command House, but we couldn’t see any coming back out, so they had not returned to the Chatham side.

“The team who were on the other side of the river at Strood made some inquiries with some fishermen there who told them they had seen a guy get out of the water and get into a waiting car which then drove off.

“The message is clear, the River Medway is tidal and can be very dangerous.

“People can easily get caught by the under current, so don’t go into the river at all.”

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