Authorities in ‘Olympic Boaters’ Warning
Visiting recreational boaters could be barred from using their vessels as a base in London during the 2012 Olympics if they fail to book moorings in advance.
Officials on the tidal Thames are concerned that large numbers of private craft could arrive for next year’s event with nowhere to go.
With increased traffic expected on the river next summer, leisure boats searching for moorings could present a major hazard to passing passenger vessels and shipping.
So the authorities will restrict access for visiting private craft between Gravesend and Putney, unless they already have a confirmed mooring.
Vessel Traffic Services officers and river patrols will monitor those who say they’re passing through the tidal Thames but don’t intend to stop.
And emergency anchorages will be provided outside the control zone for boats in distress.
David Snelson, Port of London Authority chief harbour master, said: “Travelling to London by water is one of Britain’s great boating experiences, and the Olympics will make navigating the Thames all the more special.
“But it’s crucial that boats planning to come to the capital have somewhere safe to stay when they arrive - either on a permitted tideway mooring, in one of the London docks or on the inland waterways.
“With increased shipping and river activity planned during the Olympics, turning up unprepared and looking for a mooring on arrival just isn’t a safe option. That’s why we’re urging prospective visiting boaters to plan ahead and book their moorings now to avoid disappointment.”
Multi-lingual posters and leaflets urging boaters to book early are being circulated in both the UK and abroad by the Port of London Authority, Metropolitan Police, UK Border Agency, Kent Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Essex Police, and Peel Ports (Medway).
This press release has been approved by the Metropolitan Police, UK Border Agency, Kent Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and Essex Police