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Exercise on River Thames - 1st November

Media Release from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency


A major search and rescue exercise involving the emergency services, Port of London Authority, the Passenger Boat Association and local authorities will take place on the River Thames on 1st November, starting at 10.30 am.

The exercise, which is being directed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, will involve the evacuation of a passenger vessel mid-stream, and the rescue of a number of casualties from the water. It will take place in the vicinity of Chelsea Harbour Pier.

The exercise will commence with an emergency message to London Coastguard Operations Room. From that point, the Coastguard will task and co-ordinate various resources including RNLI lifeboats, fire and police boats, and the exercise will continue until all ‘passengers’ are accounted for. Once the ‘passengers’ are ashore, police, ambulance and local authorities will arrange for their care and processing through evacuation centres. An RAF Search and Rescue helicopter will also take part in the exercise and will be winching various casualties to safety. This exercise is also co-ordinated by London Coastguard.

The exercise has been designed to test LESLP (London Emergency Services Liaison Panel) procedures as applied to a major incident on the River Thames. The panel ensures a partnership approach between all the relevant agencies in the planning for, and the response to, a major incident of whatever kind.

For further information please contact Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press Office, on: (023) 8032 9401

Press releases and further information about the Agency is available on the Web at www.mcga.gov.uk (opens in a new window)

Notes to Editors:

1. The passenger vessel will be fully visible from the river bank adjacent to Chelsea Harbour Yacht Club. A press officer will also be stationed here to assist you during the day.

2. Footage taken onboard the MCA boat ‘Hunter’ will be available on a pooled basis, following the exercise.

3. Personnel will be available for interview following the exercise.

4. Footage from the police helicopter will be available to broadcasters following the exercise.

5. There is space for one cameraman onboard the RAF helicopter. This would enable the winching exercise to be filmed. There would need to be an agreement to pool any footage.

6. For all issues relating to the Chelsea Harbour Yacht Club access please speak to the Estate Manager

7. For issues relating to the Survivor Reception Centre please speak to Rob Mansfield at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on 020 8753 2383.

8. For all other issues relating to the exercise please contact the MCA in the first instance.