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PLA Surveyors Secure MCA Approval

PLA Marine Surveyor Tim Prior at work (click on image to enlarge)
 PLA Marine Surveyor Tim Prior at work
 (click on image to enlarge)

The Port of London Authority’s specialist marine surveyors can now inspect and license a new group of small commercial vessels on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

They’ve been authorised to carry out safety surveys on boats that work at sea, and to issue the necessary certification.

The PLA has been accredited by the MCA as one of the few Small Commercial Vessel (SCV) Code Certifying Authorities nationally.

In this new role, the PLA – which already inspects and licenses inland waterways commercial vessels operating in the Thames and inner estuary – will also have the authority to assess workboats, tugs and other commercial vessels operating under the SCV Code whether they operate in the Port of London or at sea.

Every year, the PLA – which has the UK’s only in-house port marine surveying team - undertakes around 600 inland waterway vessel inspections from Teddington to the outer Thames Estuary.

London is the UK’s second biggest port and the tidal Thames is the busiest inland waterway, supplying the south east with crucial supplies of food, fuel, building materials and goods.

Sir Alan Massey with David Snelson (click on image to enlarge)
Sir Alan Massey with David Snelson 
(click on image to enlarge)

David Snelson, the PLA’s chief harbour master, said: “This accreditation means our surveyors can now certificate vessels, whether they’re working in the Thames, the estuary, or elsewhere around the UK coast

“Our licensing role and regular vessel surveys are an important part of the Port’s navigational safety management system and help to reduce the risk of marine accidents, which might result in vessels sinking, losing cargo or damaging the environment.”

Sir Alan Massey, chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “I am delighted to be able to approve the PLA as a UK certifying authority and sign a Memorandum of Understanding.  The PLA has fully met the standards required and I look forward to working collaboratively with PLA officials to improve safety standards of small commercial vessels.”