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Near Miss, Safety Observations and Incident Reporting


Life-threatening emergencies on the river: Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Be prepared to give your name, location and the nature of the emergency. Do not enter the water.


We rely on the Thames community to help us keep the river safe for sport, for navigation and for the animals that call it home. 

The achievement of safe marine operations on the tidal Thames is the responsibility of all users, not solely the PLA. Vessel masters and those in charge of vessels using the Thames are required, under the provisions of PLA Byelaws, to report specific categories of incident to the PLA.  All navigational incidents are fully investigated by the relevant district Harbour Master, with some incidents also investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and occasionally the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

In addition to this legal requirement, all river users -- including leisure -- are invited to report any navigational incidents or occurrences (including near misses or any general safety observations and concerns) so that any matters arising can be properly considered by the PLA. Be prepared to provide details about the location and issue.

Provide a full report of your observations via our online form:


Urgent navigational or environmental issues -- incidents such as collisions, contact, grounding, pollution/sheen, animal in distress, sunk/abandoned vessels -- requiring an immediate response.

Phone our 24-hour VTS duty officer:

  • Thames Barrier Navigation Control, for matters between Teddington to Crossness+44 (0)203 260 7711.
  • Port Control Centre, for matters east of Crossness to the Outer Limits: +44 (0)1474 562215

Radio London VTS over VHF:

  • Channel 14 Teddington - Crayfordness
  • Channel 68 Crayfordness - Sea Reach 4
  • Channel 69 Sea Reach 4 - Seaward Limit

Incidents involving rowing boats

The Thames Regional Rowing Council (TRRC) has an online incident reporting system for all incidents involving rowers on the tidal Thames. This reporting system is not limited to the rowing community and the TRRC would ask non-rowers to use it if they are involved in or witness an incident involving rowing boats. Using this reporting system does not remove the requirement to complete a PLA Incident Report Form when this is required. The online reporting system can be accessed via this link.


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