3 Jun 2012

Wet and cold doesn’t deter pageant onlookers

Some boat crews are reportedly suffering from hypothermia in the cold and wet, after thousands gathered to watch the passing of the Jubilee pageant.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to London and the river Thames to watch the water borne extravaganza that will accompany the Queen as she sailed through London.

An estimated one million people lined the river banks to watch the fleet that stretched over seven miles in length.

Despite the cold and wet conditions the organisers remained upbeat, as did members of the public who had flocked to the Thames armed with umbrellas and raincoats.

Hundreds of vessels of all sizes mustered at Battersea Bridge for the journey downstream to Tower Bridge.

The Prince of Wales was patron of the pageant and launched it following two years of trials, rehearsals and planning.

Huge support was visible as the Queen and her family sailed upon the Royal barge, despite conditions worsening throughout the day.

Royal pageant festivities: in pictures
Tens of thousands of people have gathered on the banks of the river Thames to mark the 1,000 strong fleet honouring the Queen.

Hypothermia fears

Channel 4 News producer Katie Hunter, who was aboard My Harmony, tweeted reported cases of hypothermia towards the end of the pageant.

She said in her tweets that there were “multiple reports of hypothermia over the radio now”.

The dispersing pattern for vessels was then changed so open topped boats could leave the water first and ambulances were on standby at the water’s edge.

Later on pictures of of the ambulances waiting at the riverside were tweeted.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, event organiser Lord Salisbury said he believed it was the rowers who bore the brunt of today’s ill weather doing what he called “an extraordinary job.”

“Some of them landed cold and wet and were immediately treated by the ambulance service

“We’re waiting anxiously for further news, but it isn’t a huge number. “

Lord Salisbury said he was not surprised that they were cold and wet and hailed them as the “real stars of the show”.

Charles and his wife Camilla ventured out into the rain earlier to join a Big Jubilee Lunch street party in London’s Piccadilly, where they sang with the crowd to a rather shaky version of the national anthem.

London Mayor Boris Johnson was upbeat from Putney Pier, declaring the rain had passed as he geed-up the crowds around him.

“I want you to know the rain has stopped, hasn’t it?” the politician said, turning to a crowd behind him while being interviewed on TV.

He added: “It’s going to be a fantastic day, I’ve no doubt about that at all.