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31.05.2005

Warning issued on Thames foreshore safety

A warning about safety on the River Thames foreshore has been issued by the Port of London Authority (PLA).

This follows the incident this week in central London, widely reported in the media, when two men became trapped in deep mud on the Thames foreshore. Firefighters from the London Fire Brigade eventually managed to free the two men after one hour.

Commenting on the incident, Gary Davies, PLA health and safety adviser said:

"Were it not for the rescue services, the Thames would have claimed two victims as these two guys could have drowned.

"The river and its foreshore have hidden hazards and must be treated with respect.  It is not a pleasure beach and people should not go onto the foreshore unless they have a good reason and know what they are doing. For example, do not go there if you have been drinking alcohol.

Too many people think the foreshore looks inviting, not least in hot weather. But the potential hazards include rapidly rising tides, soft mud, wash from vessels, slip and trip hazards, slippery steps and broken glass."

"And if you see someone in difficulty, phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Bakers Hall, 7 Harp Lane, EC3R 6LB (Tel: 020 7743 7915; Fax: 020 7743 7998).

Note to Editors:

The Port of London Authority is responsible for safety on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington, including the foreshore area up to the highwater line.