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Port Authority's marine operations director appointed

Peter Steen has been named as the Port of London Authority’s new director of marine operations.

The master mariner has taken over the running of the PLA's fleet of 40 vessels; salvage and diving operations; and civil, navigation systems, and marine engineering.  He succeeds Jeremy Smith who covered these responsibilities as director of engineering and technical services; Jeremy retired from the PLA at the end of November after 13 years of service.

Peter Steen remains responsible for managing the PLA's pilotage service which is critically important to navigation safety on the river.

Peter's ocean-going career, which started in 1972, has given him experience aboard vessels as varied as general cargo and bulk carriers on deep sea routes, inshore survey vessels, dive support craft, and tugs in the North Sea oil fields.

He came ashore in 1989 to join the Port of London Authority as a duty officer at the Thames Barrier navigation centre; moved to the river's salvage team; and then, in 1996, became the PLA's marine services manager.

He held that post for 12 years, overseeing the port authority's diving, salvage, and oil spill clearance operations, before moving to the PLA's pilotage team earlier this year.

PLA chief executive Richard Everitt said: "Peter's new post is central to the smooth running of the UK's second biggest port and busiest inland waterway.

"Along with pilotage, he'll be heading teams which are ultimately responsible for keeping the people of London and south east England supplied with the essentials of life."

About the PLA

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 95 miles of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames
  • London is the UK's second largest port, handling over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year
  • London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for international passenger cruise ships.
  • The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types