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An initiative to improve safety for river users in South West London has seen the installation of defibrillators at both Molesey and Sunbury Locks.

Held in weather and vandal-proof cases the potentially life-saving equipment has come about through a partnership with the Environment Agency and the RALPHH charity, which specialises in protecting the lives of young people in water and other sporting locations.

The Surbiton-based national charity made a grant of £3,000 to make this initiative possible, adding to an array of locations on rivers and other key exercise venues across the whole of England. The charity RALPHH (Robert Allen Life Promotion and Healthy Hearts Trust) takes its name from the late Robert Allen who died in August 2018 having achieved major success in his rowing career, including a national title. He was a former student and rowing coach at Kingston Grammar School, whose boathouse is within a short distance of Hampton Court Bridge.

“I’m delighted that we now have defibrillators that the public can access 24/7 at both locks,” said Vincent Hoar, Waterways Technical Officer of the Environment Agency. “We know they save lives, significantly increasing a casualty’s chance of survival for those on the river as well as towpath users. The keen interest and support from RALPHH has been exceptional and we are pleased to provide this service in a part of the Thames so familiar to Robert in the past.”

Kingston Grammar School’s Head of Rowing Ed Green was on hand to join both Vincent Hoar and RALPHH Chairman Richard Allen at Molesey Lock to mark the landmark launch of the new service.

“We are very pleased to have worked with the Environment Agency to make this important development possible,” said Richard Allen. “I am hopeful that this will encourage more links with riverside locations across England and Wales as both sporting choices such as rowing, canoeing and sailing, riverside locations also attract many visitors, who may have need for emergency assistance.”

Pictured left to right are: Richard Porter from the Sherriff Club, which as part of Kingston Grammar School is aiming to raise £20,000 from a sponsored row on 10th September from Henley to Thames Ditton; Vincent Hoar of the Environment Agency; Ed Green from Kingston Grammar School and Richard Allen from RALPHH.

For further information contact: RICHARD ALLEN on 0794 9466795 or

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