PLA: Steer clear of the Thames this weekend

The Port of London authority has warned all boats not taking part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant to steer clear of the capital this weekend.

The stretch of the Thames between Richmond and Woolwich will be closed to all vessels not involved in the 1000-boat pageant on Sunday, including the regular London commuter and passenger services.

“This is a river pageant on a scale never seen before in Britain,” explained David Phillips, the PLA’s Chief Harbour Master. “There will be 1,000 boats and around 20,000 people on the Thames to mark this very special anniversary.
“So, for both safety and security reasons, vessels not registered to take part in the pageant will be turned away from central London on the day.

“The weirs in Richmond will be closed, as will the Thames Barrier. Boaters arriving on-spec on June 3 will have nowhere to go but back the way they came.

“Below the Thames Barrier, this could mean skippers’ having to contend with unfavourable tidal conditions in some of the country’s busiest shipping lanes.”

The PLA has also warned about possible disruptions to the Thames traffic in the days immediately before and after Sunday’s historic event, when hundreds of boats will be marshalled or dispersed with the Thames Barrier open.

“I appreciate the river closure is disrupting the plans of many non-participating boaters,” Phillips added. “I’d like to thank them for their good humour and forbearance during this very rare and special event.”

Find out more about the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant at www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org.

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