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PLA Videos

PLA Events

The Thames is home to globally renowned events like the University Boat Race, traditional barge and cutter races and the river marathon, the Great River Race. The PLA provides essential services to these events helping them run safely on one of the UK's busiest tidal rivers.


Less than a month to go the Greening Inland Shipping conference

On 10 September, as part of London International Shipping Week, the PLA is hosting a major conference on improving the environmental performance of vessels on the Thames and other waterways. Watch our environment manager, Tanya Ferry, explain the aims of the conference and why it’s so important. Music: https://www.bensound.com

Thames Historic Barge Race 2017

The historic barge race on the Thames is a unique event, showcasing the traditional lighterman's skill of navigating an unpowered barge using the tide. The race is rowed over a seven-mile course between the Palaces of Greenwich and Westminster. This film captures the essence of the 2017 race, from the start, racing through central to the prize presentation back at Greenwich.

2015 Thames and PLA Highlights

The Thames and PLA highlights of 2015 included filming for the latest Bond movie, welcoming some of the largest ships in the world, launching the Cleaner Thames campaign and planning for the future with the Thames Vision project.

London Titan – naming ceremony

See London Titan, our new £7 million Thames river maintenance officially named by Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price in a ceremony at Tower Pier on 3 December 2015. Titan is a unique boat for a unique river, specially designed to work as far upriver as Richmond and well out into the estuary. She is essential to safe and growing operations in the UK’s second biggest port and busiest inland waterway.

Cruise Ship Viking Star - Thames

Cruise ship Viking Star passing through the Thames Barrier en-route to Bergen, after her maiden call on the Thames - 13 May 2015.

Behind the Scenes at the Boat Race with the PLA

The PLA plays a key role behind the scenes at one of the Thames biggest races of the year: the University Boat Race. Our work includes clearing the course of driftwood, laying moorings for stake boats and overseeing the river closure at race time. Deputy harbour master, Ryan Hall and marine services manager, Danny Marsh show you behind the scenes as we started preparations for the 2015 Boat Race.

Busiest Night of the Year

New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year on the Thames for passenger boats, with many people getting afloat for a great view of the fireworks. The Port of London Authority co-ordinates river operations for the event, with two launches on the river closing it to traffic between Westminster Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge between 2340 on 31 December 2013 until 0020 on 1 January 2014. VTS Officers at our Thames Barrier Navigation Centre oversee the operation – this is their story of the night.

Onboard: The Great River Race

Join the PLA’s crew onboard Centurion for the Great Rive Race. This is a two-minute express row from Millwall slip upriver, past Canary Wharf, under Tower Bridge, past the London Eye and on towards race finish at Ham.

Greenwich Tall Ships Festival Parade of Sail

In September 2014, the Royal Borough of Greenwich hosted the largest Tall Ships event on the Thames in 25 years, culminating on 9 September with a Parade of Sail. This is our story of the event and Parade co-ordination.

Tall Ships Regatta

Greenwich is set to host the Tall Ships Regatta from 5 to 9 September. This will be largest Tall Ships event on the Thames in 25 years -- the Tall Ships last visited the capital in numbers at the end of a Tall Ships race from Hamburg to London in 1989. This video shows unique footage of the Tall Ships' last visit to London in 1989.