2nd PLA Olympic 'Gatekeeper' Patrol starts
PLA’s Darren Knight on ‘gatekeeper’ patrol duties on board PLA launch, Crane
(click on image to enlarge)
The second Port of London Authority (PLA) Olympic ‘gatekeeper’ patrol started operations on the Thames at Richmond on Wednesday, 25 July.
The patrols – the other at Gravesend started operations on Monday, 23 July – are being run to maintain safe standards of navigation and cope with the additional river traffic arriving on the Thames during the Olympic Games in London. They support the PLA’s normal harbour service, which patrols the tidal Thames 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The additional patrols are checking that any recreational vessels coming onto the river have a mooring to go to, or are simply passing through en-route to moorings elsewhere. This will help keep congestion on the river in central London to a minimum.
The PLA, Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust have set up a voluntary vessel ID scheme which will rapidly identify passing vessels to the gatekeeper patrols, helping keep hassle to a minimum through the busy Olympic period. Skippers that have not yet registered their boats for a hassle-free passage through central London can still register here to get an ID which, at a glance, shows the gatekeeper patrols where they are going.