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Must-Have Recreational River Users Guide Launched by the PLA

Deputy harbour master, Simon Philips (l) and assistant harbour master (recreation) Jon Beckett with the new recreational users guide to the Thames.

An updated guide to help leisure and sporting skippers enjoy the tidal Thames safely has just been launched by the Port of London Authority (PLA), as the 2015 sailing season gets underway.

The free, easy-to-read waterproof pamphlet is packed with important safety information, practical advice and key points of interest. It replaces the PLA’s previous guide, published two years ago, which quickly earned its place on every Thames navigator’s chart table.

Assistant harbour master (recreation) Jon Beckett shows the new guide to one of the guests at the PLA’s recent pre-season briefing for recreational users of the Thames.

The latest version also includes:

Ebb tide flag warning advice, Information about the PLA’s new anti-sewage measure, byelaw 49 and Location information about new navigation buoys.

But that’s not all. As always, the handy guide comes complete with practical guidance, marine/leisure activity areas, danger zones, Vessel Traffic Services information, port VHF channels, speed limits, club information and useful contact numbers. There’s also a summary of local port rules and regulations too.

Jon Beckett, assistant harbour master (recreation) said: "Our latest easy-to-read guide is designed to help people enjoy our world-famous river in safety. It doesn’t replace the regular navigation chart, but provides recreational river users with navigational and safety information about the tidal Thames in a concise format.

“It’s a must-have for anyone thinking about visiting or using the river during the busy summer months, or at any other time of the year. The tidal Thames is an extremely busy commercial port so everyone needs to prepare well before setting out, particularly less experienced navigators. Taking time to understand the basic rules and safety advice in this guide will help people stay safe on the water.”

Free copies of the new recreational guide are available from the PLA's Gravesend office. Tel: 01474 562269.
Recreational boaters can also join the PLA’s Tidal Thames Navigators Club for free. Membership, among other things, means the PLA can provide navigational advice tailored to river users’ needs. Visit www.boatingonthethames.co.uk for more information.

For further press information please contact

Gareth Dorrian
Corporate Affairs Writer
Port of London Authority
Tel: 01474 562 251 /07711 640099

Notes to Editors:

  • The PLA is responsible for navigational safety on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the estuary to Teddington in west London
  • Its new anti-sewage dumping measure, byelaw 49, came into force at the start of 2015. Owners of certain vessels, including houseboats, must ensure that no sewage is discharged into the Thames.
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames.
  • It also surveys more than 730 commercially operated vessels a year. Our Marine Surveyors can provide services for third parties on commercial vessels including: certification under the MCA Small Commercial Vessels Code, new build consultancy, Inland Waterways certification and insurance.