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First PLA Olympic 'Gatekeeper' Patrols start

PLA acting Marine River Inspector Glynn Luxton and deckhand, Peter Love, on the RIB, Gunfleet
PLA acting Marine River Inspector 
Glynn Luxton and deckhand, Peter Love, 
on the RIB, Gunfleet
(click on image to enlarge)

To maintain safe standards of navigation and cope with the additional river traffic expected during the Olympic Games in London the Port of London Authority (PLA) Olympic ‘gatekeeper’ patrols started operations on the Thames at Gravesend on Monday, 23 July.

The two-man patrol will support the PLA’s normal harbour service which patrols the tidal Thames 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  The additional patrols will check 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 measure will enhance navigational safety by keeping 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, so keeping 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 via this website to get an ID which, at a glance, shows the gatekeeper patrols where they are going.

The second gatekeeper patrol will begin operations at Richmond on Wednesday, 25 July.