Lifesavers from the Teddington Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) took part in Eastenders to mark the shows 35th anniversary.

Throughout the week a series of dramatic episodes which involved a boat party on the Thames also featured the charity’s lifesavers, who demonstrated their rescue skills when a few cast members got into trouble in the water.

Kevin Maynard, Station Manager at Tower RNLI, said: "People are often surprised to hear that there are lifeboats on the Thames, and even more surprised when they learn that Tower RNLI is the busiest of the charity’s 238 lifeboat stations.

"When we started the lifeboat service on the Thames on 2 January 2002, we anticipated a hundred or so call-outs or so every year on the Thames.

"Last year at Tower RNLI alone, we launched six times that number, which highlights how important having lifeboats on the Thames is, with the four lifeboat stations having assisted nearly 5,000 people since 2002."

Teddington RNLI is part of Gravesend, Tower, and Chiswick - making it the fourth lifeboat station to operate in London and out into the estuary.

It is also crewed entirely by volunteers who operate on a pager system.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and relies on donations to operate and continue to provide a lifesaving service.

It has had a presence on the Thames since 2002 and in that time has launched 14,906 times, saved 580 lives, and aided 4,994 people.

The RNLI have lifeboats specially designed by the charity’s in-house engineers for saving lives on the Thames, the RNLI’s lifeboat crews are able to respond to an emergency in a matter of seconds.