Shiplake College rowers: Man swept over Thames weir

Shiplake Weir Fire crews said the man was lucky to be alive after being washed through the weir into swirling water

Related Stories

A man had an "astonishing escape" after being swept over a weir on the River Thames as he tried to help a school rowing team that was in difficulty.

The man had been in a support boat helping the team of children from Shiplake College who became stuck on safety chains at Shiplake Weir, Henley.

Fire crews said the support boat was swept under the chains, towards the weir, plunging the man into the water.

The school said all staff and pupils were safe and had been accounted for.

Eyewitnesses said the incident happened at about 16:45 GMT.

A message on the school's website said: "There was an incident this afternoon involving a Shiplake rowing boat on the River Thames. All those involved are safe and well."

'Clinging on'

It is believed the rowing boat, containing eight teenage rowers and a coxswain, became pinned up against catch chains about 100m (328ft) from the weir.

A support vessel went to help but was swept underneath the chains and downstream, where the man tried to save himself by clinging to the weir structure.

BBC reporter Nikki Mitchell, who spoke to people at the scene, said the man had "an astonishing narrow escape".

She said: "Fire crews think the boat went through the weir first while he was still clinging on and he eventually tired and was swept through the narrow gap of the weir - through the concrete pillars and metal gates - through the tiny gap in between, into violent white swirling water.

"The incident commander said he has no idea how the man survived this but he did. The weir spat him out, up to the surface again, and he survived with very few injuries."

Shiplake College boys' school, which charges £6,210 a term, has its own rowing club with pupils learning the sport from the age of 13.

Shiplake College Shiplake College, on the banks of the Thames, teaches rowing from Year 9

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Oxford



25 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    School budgets surplus 14:32: Banbury Cake

    More than 30 primary schools across Oxfordshire are being warned to stop hoarding reserves of £18m in their budgets.

    Popstar approval 14:18: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Last week, we told you how Oxford a cappella group Out of the Blue have covered Shakira's Hips Don't Lie in aid of local charity Helen and Douglas House.

    The Columbian superstar has tweeted the former X Factor contenders to say she loved their rendition.

    Out of the Blue

    You can watch the video here.

    The group will perform at the Edinburgh Fringe from Thursday to 25 August in Assembly George Square.

    News on the hour 13:57: BBC Radio Oxford

    In the news at 14:00: More than 4,000 dead fish have now been found at a river in Didcot.

    Charlie and Lola 13:39:

    The Oxford Playhouse tweets: BBC favourites Charlie & Lola are at OP this August.

    Kids will love listening to their adventures like these!

    Bogus cold call warning 13:25: Banbury Guardian

    Residents across Cherwell are being urged to be vigilant against a scam which appears to offer a council tax rebate.

    Lunchtime news 13:14: BBC South Today

    In the programme from 13:30 with Roger Finn, Nikki Mitchell reports on two Thames Valley charities who support sex workers.

    Trauma advisers

    They've been handed a grant by the police and crime commissioner to recruit specialist "trauma advisers".

    Nikki's been to see how their work is already making a difference.

    Dead fish latest 13:06: Alex Therrien BBC News Online

    The Environment Agency is continuing to investigate a pollution incident which caused the deaths of fish in Oxfordshire.

    It said inspections of Moor Ditch in Didcot yesterday confirmed more than 4,000 dead fish had been discovered.

    Original estimates put the numbers at only 250.

    News on the hour 12:57: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Coming up in the BBC Radio Oxford news at 13:00, hear about a major new retirement village that's set to open in Witney by early 2016.

    The managing director of the company behind it says the demand is there.

    A44 delays 12:46:

    The A44 in Wootton is partially blocked at the Duke Of Marlborough Junction, BBC Travel News reports.

    It's because of an accident and recovery work. Police are at the scene directing traffic.

    Rail price anomaly 12:40: Clare Woodling Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Cheap train fares from Banbury to London mean people won't use a nearby rural station, crucial to local business.

    King's Sutton railway station

    A parish councillor in King's Sutton says Chiltern Railways is displacing passengers to make it look like King's Sutton station isn't popular because they don't want to run as many stopping services.

    Chiltern Railways says special offers have only been available from big stations so far and it will make them available from rural stations soon.

    Oxford smell latest 12:30: Adam Williams BBC Local Live

    People were reporting a strange smell around Oxford yesterday.

    Thames Water has been in touch to say: "All our equipment at the Oxford sewage treatment works is working as usual and there have been no operational problems."

    The search for the source of the smell continues.

    Cropredy sell out 12:19: Oxford Times

    Tickets for Fairport's Cropredy Convention have sold out ahead of the music festival on 7-9 August.

    Dan's progress at Games 12:07: Ross Heaton Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Didcot shooter Dan Rivers has progressed in the 50m Rifle 3 Position competition at the Commonwealth Games.

    Dan Rivers

    He qualified in first position for the final which takes place later.

    On Friday, he won bronze in the 10m air rifle shootout.

    On the hour 11:58: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Coming up in the BBC Radio Oxford news at 12:00, major roadworks on Oxford's Southern Bypass can't be done at night due to noise.

    A new contraflow between Hinksey Hill and Heyford Hill Interchanges has led to lengthy delays in the surrounding area.

    Didcot after the blast 11:50: Emma Harrison BBC News Online

    If you missed it yesterday, Damien Dyer emailed some fantastic aerial shots of where the Didcot cooling towers once stood.

    Demolished Didcot towers

    Hundreds gathered to watch the three southern cooling towers on the site of Didcot A Power Station being demolished early on Sunday.

    Clarke progresses in hurdles 11:39: Robyn Cowen Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxfordshire hurdler Lawrence Clarke's qualified for the final of the 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games.

    Lawrence Clarke

    He finished second in his heat in Glasgow earlier.

    What is a 'hamburger' roundabout? 11:29: Adam Williams BBC Local Live

    What exactly do we mean when we talk about a "hamburger" style roundabout?

    Oxford commuters will be familiar with the design of the Hinksey Hill roundabout (pictured below) where a section of the carriageway passes through the middle.

    Heyford Hill roundabout design

    Now the Kennington Roundabout is getting the same treatment. The idea is to increase the junction's capacity by 30%.

    Skate park upgrade 11:22: Oxford Mail

    A Greater Leys skate park looks set to get new equipment by the end of the summer.

    Care village plan revealed 11:06: Adam Williams BBC Local Live

    Designs have been unveiled for a new £33m residential care village in Oxfordshire.

    Richmond Witney

    Contractor BAM will construct Richmond Witney, a nine-acre (4ha) facility including space for about 240 residents, as well as a restaurant, gym, swimming pool, library, shop and outdoor bowling green.

    The team were also behind the recent extension to Oxford's Ashmolean Museum.

    In the news 10:58: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    In the BBC Radio Oxford news at 11:00, hear how motorists suffered three-hour delays on the first day a contraflow was installed on the Oxford ring road.

    Work to upgrade the Kennington roundabout should be completed by the end of November.

    Oxfordshire County Council leader Rodney Rose has called the work "vital".

    Ring road traffic misery 10:52: Emma Harrison BBC News Online

    As we've been telling you, motorists are being warned to use alternative routes into Oxford after roadworks on the ring road caused traffic chaos.

    Kennington roundabout traffic

    A contraflow system has reduced the A423 to one lane between Hinksey Hill and Heyford Hill interchanges until November during a £6m scheme to create a roundabout.

    Some motorists were in traffic for up to three hours on Monday.

    Your views 10:37: Adam Williams BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? Tell us what you think about the service we run from BBC Radio Oxford.

    Boat firm's eviction 10:20: Adina Campbell Reporter, BBC South Today

    A row over an Oxford boat hire company's access to mains services means they're taking emergency measures to service their narrow boats.

    College Cruisers in Jericho has been told to leave the rented building where it connects to water, power and sewerage. It's having to take boats to Thrupp to clean them.

    The company says they're 100% confident boat holidays won't have to be cancelled.

    Royal Commonwelfie 10:10: BBC Radio Oxford

    Reporter Tim Dellor has been bringing us all the news of how Oxfordshire's athletes have been performing at the Commonwealth Games.

    Yesterday, while at the Hockey, he found himself rubbing shoulders with royalty.

    Tim and the Princes

    Are you off to Glasgow to see the games? Tweet your pictures using #commonwelfie and #bbcglasgow2014

    Mouse Town reopens 10:03: Witney Gazette

    Fairytale Farm attraction Mouse Town has reopened to visitors for a second year running.

    News headlines 09:56: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxfordshire County Council says major roadworks on Oxford's Southern Bypass can't be done at night due to noise.

    Leader Rodney Rose has told BBC Radio Oxford they're doing everything they can to ensure the expansion work is completed as soon as possible.

    Hear more from him in the news at 10:00.

    Southern bypass advice 09:47:

    Oxfordshire County Council has full details of the work taking place to improve the A423 Southern Bypass on the Oxford Ring Road at the Kennington roundabout and Hinksey Hill interchange.

    A 24-hour contraflow is in place between the A34/A423 Hinksey Hill Interchange and the Heyford Hill Interchange until November.

    The Kennington Roundabout will be converted into a "hamburger" style layout similar to that of the Heyford Hill roundabout above.

    U's take on Wolves 09:33: Robyn Cowen Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxford United are back at home for the first time in pre-season this evening.

    They entertain Championship side Wolves and are unbeaten after five pre-season games.

    Michael Appleton

    New loan signings George Long and Joe Riley are set to be in the squad tonight.

    It's also a debut in the home dugout for new head coach Michael Appleton. There's full match commentary online from 19:45.

    What is that smell? 09:15: Adam Williams BBC Local Live

    We've been talking in the Oxford newsroom about a strange smell around the city and discussing what it might be.

    Alan Rawlings contacted us to say he could smell it at Woodfarm in the evening and he thought it "smelt like agricultural fertilizer".

    And Mark Spooner tweeted saying he thought it was "farmers muck spreading" around the south ring road area and he could still smell it this morning.

    Let us know your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook and we'll keep investigating.

    Top headlines
    News on the hour 08:55: Charles Nove Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxfordshire County Council says major roadworks on Oxford's Southern Bypass can't be done at night due to noise.

    Council leader Rodney Rose has reassured commuters they're maximising the daytime working hours to get the work done as soon as possible.

    We'll have more in the 09:00 news on BBC Radio Oxford.

    What's that pong? 08:44: Phil Gayle Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    On the show this morning we've been asking if you smelt something horrible in Oxford last night?

    If you did, where were you and how would you describe it?

    Robyn Cowen on the sports desk said she could smell it until late evening.

    Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

    Actor's Games of Thrones role 08:33: Oxford Times

    An Oxford actor is among nine new additions to the cast of the upcoming new series of hit television show Game of Thrones.

    Oxfordshire at the Games 08:22: Robyn Cowen Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    It's a busy day of action for Oxfordshire's competitors at the Commonwealth Games.

    Hannah England's set to challenge for a medal this evening in the final of the 1,500m at Hampden Park.

    Hannah England

    And Lawrence Clarke, from Christmas Common, will aim to book his place in tonight's final of the 110m hurdles in the heats this morning.

    Didcot shooter Dan Rivers has his final event of the games today in the qualification round in the 50m Rifle 3 Position category.

    Southern bypass works 08:09: Al Ryan Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Just a reminder that on the Oxford Ring Road there is a new contraflow system in place between the A4074 Southern bypass and the A34 with traffic reduced to one lane.

    Dry and sunny 08:03: Holly Green BBC Weather

    Today will bring plenty of fine conditions and lots of sunny spells coming through.

    Tuesday weather

    Temperatures picking up fairly swiftly. A dry day with highs of 24 or 25C (77F).

    Good morning 08:00: Adam Williams BBC Local Live

    Good morning and welcome along to BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire on this Tuesday morning.

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county until 18:00.

    You can get in touch via email, Facebook or Twitter.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.