London

Sinking restaurant on River Thames at Richmond

Teddington RNLI crews attended the scene Image copyright RNLI
Image caption The restaurant and other vessels were moored at a pontoon

A floating restaurant began to sink into the River Thames in south-west London when the pontoon it was moored to failed.

The Boat restaurant and other vessels started to take on water as the pontoon in Richmond dragged them down.

Lifeboat crews were called at about 01:00 BST on Friday. They made the area safe and no-one was injured.

The fire brigade also attended because there were fears The Boat might have gas canisters inside.

'It was mayhem'

Teddington RNLI crew member James Kavanagh, said: 'It was mayhem.

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Lifeboat crews salvaged boats and recovered debris

"The river was littered with floating debris and owners of the rowing boats tethered to the pontoon were frantically trying to salvage as much as they could.

"The pontoon had failed and any vessel moored with decent rope was quickly being dragged under.

"As the tide rose, the stern of The Boat restaurant became fully submerged."

RNLI crews stayed in the area until 04:30 BST returning any floating debris to the riverside and salvaging the boats.

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