A man was close to falling into the River Thames last night after slipping from a bank.

The Tower lifeboat crew found the man clinging onto a river railing after they were called just after 7pm on March 26 to reports of a man on the wrong side of the river railing at Rotherhithe.

Mick Nield, Tower RNLI lifeboat helmsman, said: “The man slipped from the ledge and was hanging off the handrail as his legs became entangled in chains on the embankment wall.

“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. Our actions most definitely stopped the man from entering the river.”

The man was delivered to Wapping Police Pier and into the care of police officers.