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Near Miss, Safety Observations and Incident Reporting

The achievement of safe marine operations on the tidal Thames is the responsibility of all users, not solely the PLA. Vessel masters and those in charge of vessels using the Thames are required, under the provisions of PLA Byelaws, to report specific categories of incident to the PLA.  All navigational incidents are fully investigated by the relevant district Harbour Master, with some incidents also investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and occasionally the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

In addition to this legal requirement, all river users are invited to report any navigational incidents or occurrences (including near misses or any general safety observations and concerns) so that any matters arising can be properly considered by the PLA.

Urgent Navigational Issues

Urgent navigational matters must always be reported immediately to the Harbour Master through the appropriate VTS Centre at Gravesend or Woolwich.

In this instance Telephone or VHF Reports should be made to:

Port Control Centre, Gravesend - For incidents between the outer PLA limits at NE Spit and Sunk pilot stations and Crayfordness

Callsign: London VTS  
VHF Channels: Outer Limits to SR No. 4 Buoy – Channel 69
  SR No. 4 Buoy to Crayfordness – Channel 68
Telephone: Duty Port Controller  01474 560311 (24hrs)


Thames Barrier Navigation Control Centre, Woolwich - For incidents between Crayfordness and the landward PLA limit at Teddington

Callsign: London VTS  
VHF Channels: Crayfordness to Teddington - Channel 14
Telephone: Duty Officer 0203 260 7711 (24hrs)


Non-Urgent Navigational Issues

When reporting non-urgent navigational incidents and near misses, or following a request from the investigating Harbour Master to provide a written report, one of the following Report Forms should be completed as appropriate:

Near Miss, Safety Observations and Incident Reporting Form (PDF)

This form should be used by the Master, authorised Pilot, PEC Holder or Owner of any vessel required to report a navigational incident, near miss or safety observation.

This form can also be used to report deficiencies of safety equipment, unsafe practices, or contravention of regulations at a jetty, wharf or pier.

Click here for a PDF version of the form, which can be printed and completed by hand or completed online.

All near miss, safety observations and incident reports should be sent to the relevant district Harbour Master:

Outer Limits to Crossness

Crossness to Teddington

By Post:
Harbour Master
London River House
Royal Pier Road
Kent DA12 2BG
T: 01474 562299
By Post:
Harbour Master
Pinnacle House
23 - 26 St Dunstan's Hill
London EC3R 8HN
T: 020 7743 7909


Incidents Involving Rowing Craft

The Thames Regional Rowing Council (TRRC) has an online incident reporting system for all incidents involving rowers on the tidal Thames.

This reporting system is not limited to the rowing community and the TRRC would ask non-rowers to use it if they are involved in or witness an incident involving rowing craft. Using this reporting system does not remove the requirement to complete a PLA Incident Report Form when this is required.

The online reporting system can be accessed here. (opens in a tab)