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An estimated quarter of a million people converged on the banks of the River Thames to watch a spectacular firework display marking the start of the New Year. Many more watched on their TVs at home.

New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for passenger vessels on the Thames in central London. And behind the scenes, PLA teams in marine services, the harbour service and Thames Barrier Navigation Control worked around the clock to play their part in delivering a safe and enjoyable spectacle. Here are the highlights:
Monday, 30 December: Marine Services team laid moorings off London Eye Pier for barges loaded with fireworks.
Tuesday, 31 December: Two PLA launches, Lambeth and Barnes deployed to patrol ahead of closing the river to navigation between Westminster Bridge and Charing Cross Rail Bridge (2340 on 31 December 2013 to 0020 on 1 January 2014).


Wednesday, 1 January:
Around 0045, Lambeth and Barnes responded to a mayday call from a
small private motor boat, which was holed and sinking close to London Bridge. The seven people on board were safely rescued: by Lambeth; the Thames RIB Experience's Adrenaline; and the Maritime Volunteer Service's Londinium; RNLI lifeboat and a police boat also arrived promptly to assist.

Photo top left shows the river rescue.


PLA pilot, John Stafford featured in the final episode of David Dimbleby' programme, Britain and the Sea on 8 December, assisting the presenter navigate his boat to central London. This followed long discussions with the BBC production team over their plans for navigating on the Thames.

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