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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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Marine Compliance

Safety Management Systems

The Port of London Authority (PLA), as a Statutory Harbour Authority, has a primary responsibility to facilitate the safety of navigation and associated marine operations on the tidal Thames. Our Marine Safety Management System (SMS) is the main tool we use to manage navigation and to identify the risks on the river, the steps needed to eliminate or keep them to a minimum and ensure that the risks are regularly reviewed and adapted as circumstance, changing trades and experience dictate.

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Marine Safety Plan 2024 cover

Marine Safety Plan

2024 - 2026

This Marine Safety Plan commits us to undertaking the proper management and regulation of marine navigation within the scope of our powers and authority, according to Port of London Act 1968 (as amended) and the Port Marine Safety Code.

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We rely on the Thames community to help us keep the river safe for sport, for navigation and for the animals that call it home.

The achievement of safe marine operations on the tidal Thames is the responsibility of all users, not solely the PLA. Vessel masters and those in charge of vessels using the Thames are required, under the provisions of PLA Byelaws, to report specific categories of incident to the PLA.  All navigational incidents are fully investigated by the relevant district Harbour Master, with some incidents also investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and occasionally the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

In addition to this legal requirement, all river users -- including leisure -- are invited to report any navigational incidents or occurrences (including near misses or any general safety observations and concerns) so that any matters arising can be properly considered by the PLA. Be prepared to provide details about the location and issue.


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Emergency planning

We keep and maintain detailed plans for all potential emergency incidents on the tidal Thames.

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Safety campaigns

Our goal is to educate, inform and inspire action through a series of carefully curated campaigns designed to reduce accidents and promote a culture of safety on the tidal Thames.

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Thames Vision 2050

As a Trust Port, we hold the river in trust, working to hand it on in a better condition to future generations.

We will nurture the country’s largest and most competitive port, closest to the UK’s biggest market, producing Net Zero emissions.

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