Star's brother praises burning boat's skipper
PENZANCE man Nathan Glover – Olympic gold winner Helen Glover's twin brother – has praised the skipper of the Thames amphibious tour boat that was engulfed in flames on Sunday making national headlines.
A total of 28 tourists had to be rescued from the burning London Duck Tours' craft as thick, billowing smoke forced them to take to the water just yards from the Palace of Westminster.
Nathan, 27, a former Humphry Davy School pupil, was the tour guide on the boat and helped people into life jackets when the incident happened before taking to the water to get a small child to safety on a nearby boat.
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.
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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 lifejackets 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."
Tour guide Nathan 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.
"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, too. He was incredibly selfless in looking after the passengers."
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 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. The whole family have been in touch once they heard about the story to say they're glad I'm OK."
The police and fire service said the incident could have much worse if the tide had not been low.
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.