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Our Denton base recently chalked up a milestone when its boat lift handled its 1,000th vessel: a Thames Clipper fast ferry out of the water for routine maintenance. The 70-tonne mobile boat lift, which opened in 2003, is used to take boats from the water and move them to a broad concrete apron where maintenance and repairs can be completed. The lift is used to handle many different types of craft, from PLA harbour launches to smaller passenger ferries, houseboats to rigid inflatable boats.

“Passenger journeys on the river are increasing. The Star Clipper that we lifted at Denton is on our successful new Putney service, which carried more than 120,000 passengers in its first year. When operating an intense river transport service it's great to have easy access to maintenance facilities like this on the Thames.


Our only wish is that it could handle our larger boats too,” added Thames Clippers managing director, Sean Collins. The boat lift was installed as part of the progressive development of Denton Wharf as the main operational base for the PLA’s Marine Services and Engineering operations. The PLA has invested more than £10 million in the facility over the last ten years, including the jetty development, construction of Marine House and progressive strengthening of the quay to allow larger lifts to be handled.


PLAs Danny Marsh and Jim Denby leant a hand with a river rescue recently. A Thames Clipper deckhand had managed to reach a woman who had entered the water close to Battersea Bridge to rescue a dog, but was unable to recover her from the water. The lower freeboard of PLA launch, Benfleet, allowed Jim to recover the dog and the woman.


September marked the 25th anniversary of the first Port of London pilots being authorised. Following the responsibility for the training and authorisation of London district pilots being transferred to the PLA from Trinity House by the 1987 Pilotage Act, the PLA recruited pilots early in 1989.


Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200
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