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Navigating on the river at Olympics time

Travelling to London by water is one of Britain’s great recreational boating experiences, and this year’s Olympic Games will make navigating the Thames all the more special.

However, the river will be extremely busy during this period and access to the stretch between Teddington Lock and Gravesend will be carefully controlled to support navigational safety. Watch this film for some important advice and information.

Leisure boaters planning to travel to the tidal Thames in their own vessels this summer should be aware that:

  • for the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games only recreational vessels with a pre-booked mooring will be allowed access to the river through central London (between Teddington and Gravesend) if they can provide evidence they have an existing or booked  mooring in that area or are intending to transit the tidal river without stopping
  • vessels wishing to transit the river through London (between Teddington and Gravesend) will be allowed passage only if they can prove they have a mooring above Teddington Lock (if inbound) or an intended destination below Gravesend (if outbound)
  • vessels heading to their ‘home’ mooring on the river between Teddington and Gravesend will similarly be asked for evidence of the home mooring (and that the vessel is actually going to it)

Vessels in transit between Gravesend and Teddington will be monitored by our Vessel Traffic Services centres and river patrols throughout their journey.

Key things to remember:

  • It is essential that you pre-book and confirm a mooring before you begin your journey
  • You will not be able to secure a mooring on arrival, regardless of whether you are coming from the sea or through the UK’s inland waterway network
  • If you don’t have a confirmed mooring in London, you will be asked to leave the area for your own safety, that of other recreational users and the safety of commercial shipping

Please PLAN AHEAD – Book early and enjoy the Olympic Games in 2012.

Click here to download a copy of our leaflet for navigators thinking of visiting the Thames during the Olympics.

NEW! Click here to download our latest leaflet - "London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 - An Important Message for Visiting Recreational Boaters"

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