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Recovery of sunken obstructions to ensure clear navigational access in the tidal River Thames is the responsibility of the PLA’s Salvage team.

Salvage Vessel 'Hookness' lifting an underwater obstruction
Two specialised heavylift craft – ‘Crossness’ and ‘Hookness’ (both maintained in class with Lloyds Register) – are operated by the PLA as part of its Marine Services and have the capacity to lift wrecks weighing up to 240 tonnes.  The craft also have large open decks for the carriage of marine equipment and are equipped with two winches capable of pulling 120 tonne and a 15 tonne Effer hydraulic deck crane. 

In addition to their routine duties of obstruction removal and mooring maintenance, the craft have been involved in more high-profile operations such as the recovery of sections of the Elizabethan-era wreck in the estuary, and the delicate rescue attempt to save a whale stranded in central London.

Capable of operating along the entire length of the tidal Thames, including the estuary, the craft are available to undertake third-party work when not on operational duty for the PLA.

Click here to contact PLA Marine Services.