Helen Glover's twin Nathan in Duck Tour Thames river drama
THE twin brother of Olympic gold medal rower Helen Glover was the tour guide on the Thames Duck Tour boat that burst into flames on Sunday in London.
Nathan Glover, from Penzance, helped a young child to safety when the craft was engulfed by smoke and flames.
A total of 28 tourists and the two crew had to be rescued from the burning amphibious craft as thick, billowing smoke forced them to take to the water just yards from the Palace of Westminster.
Former Humphry Davy School pupil Nathan, 27, has praised the skipper of the World War II vintage Duck and the people and boats that came to their aid.
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All 30 people involved were pulled from the water by the emergency services and crew members from other boats after the incident at around midday on Sunday.
Tourists on the boat said the first they knew of the fire was when they noticed smoke pouring from the front of the craft.
Londoner Elissa Wood, who was on the tour with her parents, said: "We saw the tour guide and the captain look at each other like 'this is a real problem' and then they encouraged us to put life jackets on and jump off. It was really hot. The flames were really hot and it was confusing. We weren't sure what was happening so it was scary."
Nathan, who is living in London, said: "It was a very sudden incident which escalated really quickly. There was no time to think about things.
"The captain was the last person off the boat, there was a young child who I took off the boat because I wasn't sure they'd be OK in the water on their own."
Nathan added: "I'm incredibly grateful to the emergency services and the boats from the other tour companies that came and helped, like the Thames River Experience, the yellow RIB that picked me up.
"They all rushed over which was a massive help. I'd like to thank the skipper of the Duck itself, too. He was incredibly selfless in looking after the passengers."
In all three people, including a pregnant woman, were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation, while others were treated by paramedics for the effects of cold and shock.
Nathan said: "There was one report that I had a head injury but it was just a little bump.
"I called my mum back in Penzance after it had happened to let her know I was OK but I didn't want to alarm her so I just said that there'd been 'a little incident' and that I was wet and I'd lost my mobile phone but it was nothing to worry about.
"She said: 'Oh, that's nice, don't forget to say happy birthday to your Dad', so I think maybe I underplayed it a little bit!"
Former Pirates player Jimmy Glover celebrated his birthday on Sunday.
Nathan said: "The whole family have been in touch once they saw the story on the news to say they're glad I'm OK. I've had some really nice messages."
London Duck Tours has been running tourist services on the River Thames since 2002, carrying more than 200,000 passengers.
The fire ravaged vessel was towed away from the scene by the London Fire Brigade and the Port of London Authority announced it would be holding an investigation into the incident.