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Navigational Safety

Through the Port of London Act 1968 (as amended), the Port of London Authority has the primary responsibility of maintaining safe access and managing and supporting the safety of vessels, the general public and all users of 95 miles of the tidal River Thames.

The PLA's management of navigational safety is in full compliance standards set in the Port Marine Safety Code.
We're all responsible for safety on the river. Tell us when you experience a near miss while afloat.
Rules, guidelines and best practice for navigation on the tidal River Thames
Our approach to managing the safety of vessels, the public and all Thames users.

Notices and Bulletins

Essential, up to date information and advice to those supporting navigation and commercial shipping in the Port of London.

The latest notifications for agents, berth and ship operators.

Special announcements about safety practices on the river.

The latest SMS Reports containing reviews, incident statistics and trends.

Sign up to receive our Notices to Mariners and other lists by email.

Pilotage Exemption and Local Knowledge Assessments

How to prepare and apply for marine endorsements.

Any Master of a commercial vessel is required to hold a Local Knowledge Endorsement for the tidal River Thames.

A Pilotage Exemption Certificate may be granted to a vessel’s master when they fulfil criteria showing a capacity to safely manage their vessel.

PEC Bs are for skippers of intra-port tugs and tows which are subject to compulsory pilotage between Sea Reach 1 and Margaretness.

In the Community

The Port of London Authority actively seeks feedback and input of stakeholders from government, industry and the wider River Thames community.
Check here for current and archived navigational safety consultations.
These forums allow river stakeholders to share their views.
This forum provides key river users a channel to discuss recreational safety.

Public Safety

Information and resources for enjoying recreation on the Thames safely.
Select your gauge
Our dedicated website helps Thames recreational community members make the most of the river.
We are committed to reducing the number of people who drown in the tidal Thames.

Our Teams

Our core role in navigational safety is supported by team members from across the Port of London Authority.
Our harbour masters team oversee safe navigation in the Port of London and are responsible for enforcement.
Our Safety Management team facilitate safe navigation and associated marine operations on the tidal River Thames.
Our Thames pilots board and guide more than 10,000 ships through the port every year, from cargo carriers to super yachts.
Our marine services team ensures that channels are marked and obstructions are removed from the river.
We survey the bed of the river using the latest technology to ensure that navigation is unimpeded.
We manage ships in more than 400 square miles of water, the largest VTS area in the UK.

Connect With Us