Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

PLA Videos

About the PLA and What we do

The Port of London Authority works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, sharing its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment. The Thames is home to the UK’s second biggest port, busiest inland waterway for freight and passengers, and a centre for sporting events. Our operations cover 95 miles of the River Thames. We work to keep commercial and leisure users safe, protect and enhance the environment and promote the use of the river for trade and travel.


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.

Titan – the Thames Transformer – in action

London Titan is our new, £7 million mooring maintenance vessel. Titan has been specially designed to work along almost all of the 95 miles of the tidal Thames we look after. Her cranes fold flat so she can negotiate bridges as far upriver as Richmond, but open out to lift up to a massive 11 tonnes at 20 metres reach. At the same time, Titan is robust enough to operate in the outer estuary. Titan’s duties include: mooring maintenance; laying and recovering navigation buoys; hauling wreckage from the riverbed; supporting diving operations; and small scale plough dredging operations.

What’s in the Thames

The tidal Thames is a vibrant habitat for wildlife, home to 125 species of fish, hundreds of seals and 300,000 overwintering birds every year. Find out more about what’s in the river and the work we do to look after it, including habitat management, driftwood collection, Thames Barrier navigation and our partnership work with organisations including the Environment Agency, RPSB and Thames21.

What’s in the Thames - Highlights

A brief introduction to what’s in the tidal Thames and the work we do to look after its environment. The river is home to 125 species of fish, hundreds of seals and 300,000 overwintering birds every year. In 92 seconds we cover this and our work including habitat management, driftwood collection, Thames Barrier navigation and much more.

Highlights 2014, how we create value and looking ahead to the Thames Vision

From our 2014 Stakeholder Forum, a film looking at the highlights of 2014 on the Thames (and for the PLA), plus how the work we do creates value for society and looking ahead to shaping a Vision for the development of the tidal Thames over the next 20 years.

How we create value for society

The PLA’s work on the Thames spans safety, environment, planning expertise and bringing people together. This short graphical film shows how our work creates value for society.

Kotug Tug Pirouette

Kotug tug pirouette, welcoming Viking Stars's maiden Thames call.

HMS Defender on the Thames

Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, on the Thames in Gravesend Reach, leaving the port after a week-long stay on PLA moorings at Greenwich. April 2015.

Marco Polo arriving at Tilbury

Cruise ship, Marco Polo arriving at London International Cruise Terminal, which hosts more than 60 cruise ship calls a year. Marco Polo guided to and from her berth by PLA pilots, with vessel movement overseen from port control. April 2015

Thames21 Foreshore Clear Up

The PLA works with environmental charity, Thames21, supporting their volunteer Thames foreshore clear ups. We provide baskets and cages which volunteers fill with litter from the river, later taking them away for appropriate recycling or disposal of the rubbish. We also provide ‘back office’ support, preparing Thames21's accounts, providing advice and support on HR matters.