Crews rescue naked man from rowing boat in River Medway during Storm Dennis
Published: 09:05, 16 February 2020
Updated: 08:59, 17 February 2020
Emergency crews rescued a naked man from the River Medway last night after his rowing boat got caught in stormy conditions.
The subsequent rescue operation involved the Coastguard, RNLI lifeboat service, firefighters, police and ambulance crews.
"It was a very small rowing boat and he was too scared to go into shore," said crew manager Jim Sanderson from Strood fire station. "He was worried that if he took his anchor up the boat would float off into the estuary because it was a strong wind.
"It was a major operation. The coastguard had rescue swimmers ready to deploy, so if he fell in one of them could swim to him; the firefighters had throw lines and could wade out if needed.
"The RNLI were able to manoeuvre a large boat to get a line out to him.
"It was horrendous. It was rough weather and blowing gale."
Once the lifeboat crews had secured the man's boat they were able to take him into shore and pass him over to ambulance crews.
It is thought the man, aged in his early 40s, had possibly removed his clothes after they became wet in the stormy conditions.
Police confirmed they were called at around 5pm to reports that a "small boat with one man on board had come loose from its moorings on the River Medway".
Officers attended along with Kent Fire and Rescue Services and a lifeboat, which pulled the man to safety at around 7.30pm.
More by this authorChris Hunter