Thermal imagery from a police helicopter helped officers from the Marine Police Unit rescue a 10-year-old boy who was stranded waist-high in the Thames riverbed on Monday.
Police in Newham were called at 10:50hrs on Monday, 21 June to reports of a group of young boys trapped in the foreshore of the River Thames.
Officers initially attended Sunderland Point, E16, between Galleons Point and Woolwich Pier.
Three boys, two aged eight and a ten-year-old were submerged in the mud after they ventured out to play.
A fourth boy, aged eight, who did not go onto the foreshore, raised the alarm after flagging down a member of the public nearby who called police.
Both of the 8-year-old boys managed to scramble out of the mud unscathed as police arrived.
The Air Support Unit quickly located the trapped child at Sunderland Point.
Officers from Newham, supported by the Marine Policing Unit (MPU) on roadside patrol, were directed by the police helicopter using thermal imaging to locate the stranded 10-year-old boy. He was found trapped, unable to move and waist high in the mud.
A rope line was dropped over the 30ft wall by the MPU officers and the boy managed to secure the loop around his waist. He was dragged for a distance of 25 metres until he reached some steps, where he was rescued.
All four uninjured boys were reunited with their parents after being taken to an east London hospital as a precaution.
PC Richard Burn from the Marine Policing Unit said: “Thankfully the tide was out, so rescuing the boy was difficult but ultimately successful. If the tide had been coming in it might have been a different outcome. All the boys are safe now with their parents and are cold if not a little scared by today’s events.
“I would like to remind the public of the dangers of venturing onto the Thames foreshore when the tide is out. If you do, you may become stranded when the tide comes in or get stuck in dangerous mud.”