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Incident reporting

Life-threatening emergencies on the river:
Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

For near miss, safety observations and incident reporting click below


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A harbour master sign on the side of a boat

Harbour Masters

Our Chief Harbour Master's department is responsible for overseeing navigational safety on the tidal Thames

The Harbour Masters are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code.

The team oversees the safety of navigation for all mariners in the Port of London, enforcing the regulations and issuing guidance. They lead on port security and emergency and resilience planning for the PLA.

The HM team is also responsible for Richmond Lock & Weir, the Harbour Service and Pilot Cutter crew and operations and marine incident investigations.

Notices, Bulletins and NABSOs

Our senior team

James Stride, Chief Harbour Master

James has overall responsibility for navigational safety on the tidal Thames. The CHM’s team includes Harbour Masters, Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) & Safety Management Systems (SMS), Pilotage including all PLA Pilots, Richmond Lock & Weir, the Pilot Cutter and the Harbour Patrol launches.

Cathryn Spain, Senior Harbour Master

Cathryn has overall management of the Harbour Master team. She leads on port security and resilience, emergency management and is Chair of the Thames Port Security Authority and Thames Resilience Panel.

Lyn Kindlen-Funnell, Harbour Master

Lyn works under Cathryn, helping on external relations with stakeholders, supports on emergency management, port security, new business and infrastructure projects. She focuses on the lower district of the Port of London.

Adam Layer, Harbour Master

Adam works under Cathryn, helping on external relations with stakeholders, emergency management, port security, new business and infrastructure projects. He focuses on the upper district of the Port of London.

Key Harbour Master roles

Vessel Traffic Services

VTS staff managing river traffic

Our VTS team manages the safe navigation of all vessels on the tidal Thames 24 hours a day.

Richmond Lock & Weir

Richmond Lock & Weir

Staffed by a dedicated team 24/7, Richmond Lock & Weir is the base for the Upper River Harbour Service patrols between Putney and Teddington Lock.

Key Harbour Master roles


Ship leaving Tilbury docks

Our Pilots guide ships in the Port of London, keeping trade flowing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Marine Compliance

Our Marine Compliance team ensures the promulgation of regulations and procedures.

Key Harbour Master roles

Harbour Service Launches

Kew, Harbour Service Launch


The PLA afloat team maintains an active presence on the tideway with regular patrols by harbour launches between Southend and Putney (the "Lower" and "Middle" PLA districts). Special events and large ships requiring escort are also provided for by these vessels.

The area between Putney and Teddington (the "Upper District") is also patrolled daily, using two special launches for river patrol, designed to serve the leisure community. Reserve launches are maintained to be available at short notice for special duties such as local traffic control and other duties.

sun bridge river photo by pilot david barnett

Thames Vision 2050

We will create the UK’s leading port, central to the nation’s economy, with Net Zero emissions

A clean river, free of pollution and rubbish, supporting more sport, passengers and freight. A resilient Estuary, adapting to climate change and richer in wildlife. A more diverse Thames, providing jobs, learning and enjoyment to the whole community, and always, everyone, staying safe.

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