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Thames speeding warning

The owner of a private motor boat has been formally cautioned by the Port of London Authority after driving his boat on the river Thames at excessive speed and causing a dangerous wash that damaged a houseboat.

The owner of the ‘Malibu’, Mr Roy Hudson, from Essex was on his boat with two companions travelling from Gallions Point Marina in Newham upriver to Teddington.

When the boat passed under Putney Bridge it was seen travelling very fast and leaving large waves behind it. A witness was concerned the wake could endanger staff working on moored boats in the area as well as swamping rowing boats in the Putney area.

Soon afterward, the same boat was seen to pass houseboats at Isleworth causing them to roll violently. A houseboat owner reported ornaments and plants being thrown from tables and shelves with a radio being damaged beyond repair. The ‘Malibu’ was stopped at Teddington Lock and questioned by a Port of London Authority patrol launch master.

After a comprehensive investigation the owner was interviewed under caution at a London Police station. As a result Mr Hudson admitted driving his boat “without due care and attention” on the river Thames and accepted a formal caution from the Harbourmaster.

Port of London Authority rules require that all craft must proceed at all times at a safe speed when navigating anywhere on the tidal Thames. Speed must be appropriate for the prevailing conditions, the size and type of vessel, and, importantly, the safety of others in the area.

Captain Christopher Mendoza, Port of London Authority Harbourmaster for the Thames in Central and West London said:

“This sends out a clear message to anyone who navigates with excessive speed or in a manner dangerous to other river users: we will pursue you and take action to provide a safe environment for all other river users, not least those who row and sail on the river.”

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority. Tel: 020 7743 7915.

Note to Editors:

  1. The Port of London Authority is responsible for navigational safety on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington.
  2. The speed limit from Wandsworth Bridge to Teddington is 8 knots, but always subject to vessels travelling at a speed where their wash does not cause problems for others. In the presence of rowers, dinghies and other small boats, this may mean a speed considerably less then 8 knots.