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Duke to launch safety strategy on River Thames

UK News | Published:

William will travel by boat to Tower Bridge next week.

Duke of Cambridge

The Duke of Cambridge is to launch a river safety campaign to help prevent suicides and accidents on the water.

William will travel along the River Thames in central London next Tuesday to Tower Bridge, where he will launch the drowning prevention strategy.

More than 30 people die on the Thames each year, with more than 700 incidents in which people’s lives are at risk, including suicide attempts.

The strategy has been designed by the Port of London Authority (PLA), the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), London Ambulance Service and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Agencies stretching from Teddington to the North Sea are involved.

The duke will travel on a PLA boat to hear more about the plans in convoy with the Met, RNLI and MCA.

He will be joined by suicide prevention minister and Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price, mental health campaigners and a representative from the Samaritans charity at the launch on HMS President.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Jonny Benjamin (right), and Neil Laybourn, the passer-by who saved him from jumping off Waterloo Bridge (Toby Melville/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Jonny Benjamin, right, and Neil Laybourn, the passer-by who saved his life (Toby Melville/PA)

During his time as an air ambulance pilot, William was called out to several suicide attempts.

Jonny Benjamin, who was stopped from committing suicide on Waterloo Bridge by a passer-by in 2008 when he was a 20-year-old drama student, will also be present at the launch.

He previously met William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2016 after his campaign to be reunited with the stranger who saved his life went viral.

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