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Sarah Learns the Ropes

Sarah KemberSarah Kember's learning the ropes for a life in marine management.

The keen rower and yachtswoman has been signed-up for a wide-ranging Port of London Authority (PLA) training scheme. She's only the second person to be taken on for the comprehensive, three-year marine trainee programme.

For the next two years she'll get hands-on, working experience of a variety of PLA vessels, ranging from harbour patrol craft to salvage boats.

The port authority, which covers 95 miles of the tidal river from Teddington to the North Sea, will give Sarah experience in waters as varied as the exposed Estuary, busy central London, and the more confined upper Thames reaches past Putney.

In her third year with the authority, Sarah will get exposure to two or three specialist areas like harbour management, pilotage, port control, or operational support skills.

By the end of the programme she and the PLA will agree on the most suitable marine career path for her, and she’ll be offered a full-time post to develop her skills further.

Sarah said: "This is my dream job and a fantastic opportunity. There are very few schemes that offer trainees such a wide range of port experience."

More information from: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 01474 562366 or email

Notes to Editors:

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington
  • London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year.
  • The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities at different locations on the Thames. These handle a wide range of cargoes.
  • 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.