Passengers were rescued from the River Thames after their passenger vessel caught fire. All the people onboard the vessel have been accounted for and no serious injuries have been reported.
At 11.56 a.m., the passenger vessel Cleopatra with 30 people onboard, contacted the Port of London Authority and requested assistance from London Fire Brigade's boat. London Coastguard was immediately alerted to the incident and requested the assistance of vessels in the area and the launch of both Tower and Chiswick RNLI lifeboats.
The vessel suffered a fire onboard and passengers evacuated the vessel into waist deep water between Lambeth Bridge and Westminster Bridge. Seconds later, three commercial RHIBs nearby attended and recovered people from the water and landed them at a nearby pontoon. London Fire Brigade's boat was also on scene and the fire was extinguished.
Out of 28 passengers and two crewmembers, 2 people were hospitalized with suspected smoke inhalation. Additionally, other tourists in the area were also treated for smoke inhalation.
Tower and Chiswick RNLI lifeboats and the Police helicopter searched the water to ensure nobody was unaccounted for in the water. Soon afterwards, it was confirmed that everyone from the vessel was safely ashore and accounted for and no serious injuries are reported.
The vessel has been towed to Lacks Dock where it will be removed from the water. The incident has been reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, (MAIB).
London Duck Tours has suspended all river tours until the cause of the fire is determined.