Boat Race 2015: Oxford University Women's team rescued from the River Thames after sinking in choppy waters

The Boat Race for both men and women takes place on 11 April

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The Independent Online

The Oxford University Women's Boat Race team were rescued from the Thames by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) on Wednesday after being overcome by choppy waters.

Crew members from the Chiswick RNLI station came to the assistance of the Oxford crew and their cox, who were training for the Boat Race which - along with the men's race - takes place on Saturday, April 11.

After the rowers were returned safely to Putney, the sunken eight was recovered and returned to Oxford's base.

The RNLI revealed the conditions were caused by strong wind against the tide creating three successive waves that poured over the boat's riggers, "creating an influx of water that could not be managed by the craft's bilge pump".


In a statement RNLI helmsman Ian Owen said: "While we have rescued quite a number of rowers over the years, this is the first time I've been involved in helping such a prestigious team.

"The weather can be unpredictable on the Thames, and the Oxford University team dealt with the situation as safely and calmly as possible. We wish them all the best for their upcoming race."

Chiswick and Tower stations are the busiest in the country, and the RNLI has saved over 3,600 people since the service began in 2002.

The RNLI Alternative Boat Race fundraising event on April 10 takes place the day before the BNY Mellon Boat Race on the same famous stretch of river. For more information, please visit: