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Bob Baker appointed Port of London Authority Chief Harbour Master

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has appointed Bob Baker as chief harbour master.

Bob Baker will join the PLA from Forth Ports, where he has been chief harbour master since 2001. He will succeed David Phillips, who is retiring from the PLA in April, after nine years’ service.

Bob Baker’s seagoing career lasted from 1975 to 1991, before he came ashore to work at the Port of Tilbury, latterly as general manager, conventional operations and harbour master. He has been chief harbour master at Forth Ports and a director of Forth Estuary Towage since 2001. He holds an MBA from Henley Management College.

PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer, said: "David Phillips will retire after a unique period at the PLA and leaves with our very best wishes. He is the only chief harbour master to call the start of a 1,000 vessel flotilla down the Thames, overseeing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in 2012. At the same time, his tenure also saw the arrival of ultra large container ships on the river too.

“I’m delighted that we have recruited Bob to take over from David. Our chief harbour master oversees a team looking after the most diverse and high profile waterway in the UK. It will draw on Bob’s Port Marine Safety Code and other experience as we make sure that the Thames is a safe and commercially attractive river.”

Bob Baker will join the PLA on 1 May; he will also have a seat on the PLA Board.

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About the PLA

  • The PLA is a self-financing organisation, set-up by an Act of Parliament in 1909 to run the tidal River Thames in trust for future generations. Its 350-strong workforce oversees safe navigation, protects the marine environment and promotes the use of the river. The PLA has no shareholders and any financial surpluses are reinvested in stewardship of the river and improving the efficiency of PLA operations.
  • The PLA oversees navigational safety and river operations on 95 miles of the tidal Thames from Teddington Lock, through the capital, and out to the sea.

About the Thames

  • The Thames is home to the UK’s second biggest port, keeping London and the south east supplied with food, fuel and life’s essentials.
  • As the busiest inland waterway in the country, it keeps over five million tonnes of freight (more than 250,000 lorry loads) a year off London’s congested roads