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.

Incident Investigations, Reports and Data

 The Port of London's Authority's Marine Management Team (MMT) regularly reviews the Safety Management System's (SMS) performance against our three yearly Marine Safety Plan.

Below are the latest Quarterly and Annual SMS Reports which contain these SMS reviews as well as Incident Statistics and Trend Analysis.

SMS Reports

Annual Reports


Quarterly Reports - 2017

Quarter 1

To view recent Trend Analysis Reports please click here 

For any questions regarding the above reports please contact the Safety Management Team at SafetyManagement@pla.co.uk


To make any comments or if you have any queries in relation to the PLA's compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) please contact our Designated Person: Ray Blair MNI, Principal Consultant, Marico Marine, Marico House, Bramshaw, Southampton, SO43 7JB  - (Ray.blair@marico.co.uk) 02380 811 133 or 07436 803674


Summary of Navigational Incidents in the Port of London


An Integral part of the Port's marine Safety Management System involves the investigation of all navigational incidents that are reported to the Harbour Master. Following an initial assessment, all Navigational Incidents (those affecting or having the potential to impact upon navigational safety) are investigated further, from both a regulatory and safety perspective. Details of the incident, the investigation and outcomes are recorded in an incident database.

Serious Incidents which have been investigated by the Harbour Master are summarised below:

Other investigation reports may be available upon request.

Date Incident Description Actions
25/03/2017 12 Inward bound Rowing Eights were racing each other with the flood tide in a private rowing race from Nine Elms Reach to Putney Hard.

Whilst in Chelsea Reach, four Rowing Eights were abreast of each other and one of these crews was unaware of the middle abutment of Albert Bridge.

A number of coaching launches attempted to make the Cox aware of this but to no avail. The Eight struck the abutment resulting in the bow being broken off and the crew entering the water. The crew was rescued with no reported injuries.

The Eights were also involved in a Near Miss with a Tug and Tow at Cringle Dock.
The Thames Regional Rowing Council (TRRC) banned all involved from waterborne activities, with all coxes and coaches resitting tideway endorsement examinations.

The TRRC will be improving the content of annual safety inductions and organise annual cox and coaches refresher training. An Annual Coaches Forum will be looked at being developed.

The TRRC will consider reviewing sanctions and procedures available to the TRRC and future contingency options for all Head of the River Races.

The Rowing Code has been amended as follows:
  • Crews proceeding below Wandsworth Bridge, regardless of tide, must have the outing plan pre-approved by the Club's Rowing Safety Advisor.
  • Restriction on rowing below Fulham Railway Bridge extended to two hours after high tide.
Those involved were issued with Harbour Masters Warnings – The Cox under Section 108 of the Port of London Act and the organising Coach under failure to comply with Thames Byelaw 9.
03/08/2016 A cruise ship was berthed port side alongside at London Cruise Terminal and was preparing to undertake an ebb tide departure with a pilot onboard.

As the vessel manoeuvred off the berth she failed to sufficiently clear the landing stage before coming ahead which put her into conflict with a ferry berthed ahead of her. The pilot onboard the ship contacted the ferry and instructed the vessel to vacate her berth. The Master of the ferry, who had been watching the departure of the cruise ship had anticipated the danger and was quickly under way. However due to the close proximity of the vessels the ferry was unable to manoeuvre sufficiently clear and the vessels made contact.

No injuries were sustained from any persons on either vessel nor was any pollution reported.
  1. A letter has been sent to the ferry operator, with regard to the ferry keeping clear of the landing stage when large vessels are manoeuvring on to or off it.
  2. The investigation report has been sent to London VTS and Pilots, highlighting the lessons identified.
  3. The ship will re-take the tug assessment for an ebb tide departure, giving further consideration to the wind limits that should be applied.
  4. The PLA will investigate the feasibility of installing equipment to measure and record gusting wind strength.

Classification of Navigational Incidents in the Port of London

Navigational Incidents reported under the PLA's marine Safety management System are classified by severity as follows:

Minor Incident: Incidents, which do not affect persons and have a negligible cost implication (<£5K) 

Serious Incident: Incidents which may involve slight/significant injury to persons and have a moderate cost implication (>£50K)

Very Serious incident: Incidents reported to the Board, which involve serious injury or fatality and have a serious/major cost implication (>£2M)

Incidents are categorised as follows:

Floating Hazard
Pilot Ladder Deficiency
Vessel Equipment Deficiency
Loss of Hull Integrity
Vessel Navigation Aid Deficiency
Foreshore Incident
Criminal/Malicious Damage
Man Overboard
Near Miss
Safe Access Deficiency
Innappropriate Navigation
Port Security Incident
Navigational Hazard
Breach of Byelaws
Breach of General Directions

Click here to view all MMM reportable Navigational Incidents Graph (pdf file - opens in a new window).