Unlike most coastal stations, which operate on pagers, In order to launch within 90 seconds, Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat is manned 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Each 12 hour shift has a crew of 3. The helmsman and mechanic are normally full time, the third crewmember is normally a volunteer.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency requires attendance at an incident within 15 minutes. This means the crew have 90 seconds from the time of the call to launch from Chiswick Pier. The Coastguard coordinate rescues on the Thames from a control centre in Woolwich
Around 60% of the incidents relate to people in difficulty in the water or in danger of being in the water.
30% of rescues are to people in boats that have capsized, broken down or run aground.
The remaining 10% are a wide variety including cars in the river and animals in distress where the owners are at risk from attempting to save them.