A LIFEBOAT has saved three men from a burning boat in the Thames.

The men were on the barge travelling from Canvey Island to London on Sunday morning when the fire started in the 16 metre barge.

The engine room on the boat caught alight with the men fighting the blaze.

Lifeboat services were sent from Gravesend Royal National Lifeboat Association to rescue the men whilst Canvey Coastguards watched over the scene.

The smoldering barge was later towed to safety by the Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat, where the crew members were transferred to, before it later docked at the Denton Wharf near Gravesend, where it was met by Kent Fire Brigade.

The fire service were alerted just after 11am and used thermal imaging and ventilation to check for the spread of fumes. They confirmed the fire was serious but had been extinguished as the engine room was sealed off. 

Thames Lifeboat Station Manager Ian Dunkley said: "The crew clearly acted in accordance with their training and made the decision to evacuate the crew of the barge quickly to avoid risk to life."