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angelaquayle
27-07-07, 16:10
This is a bit of a long one - basics are that we still don't want anyone should move but if they do, take heed of the advice please.

Also, we are now able to send text messages with key info to stranded boaters - if you are stranded or able to share this info with anybody you know, ask them to contact our call centre on 08708 506 506 and ask the call handler to pass their mobile number by email to Gail Bradstock for 'Thames text updates'.

Notice:
Masters of all vessels are strongly advised to stop navigating and secure a safe mooring.

River levels are dangerously high and the strength of the stream is significantly greater than normal for this time of year.
Handling a boat in these conditions is difficult and dangerous especially near weirs, bridges and bends.
If you choose not to follow our advice, it is very important that you read and follow this guidance for your safety and that of others: -

- Ensure that your anchor is rigged and available for immediate use

- Keep a good lookout at all times and remember other craft may not be able to see you.

- Keep plenty of distance between you and the vessels around you.

- Maintain a steady forward course and avoid turning your vessel near bridges, bends, locks and weirs. When turning, ensure you have enough room and take account of the fast flow that could sweepyou downstream onto vessels or other obstructions such as islands, guard piles or landing stages.

- Remember that if you stop your vessel for any reason you may lose control in the fast flow

- Remember that other vessels may not be able to stop quickly or at all. Vessels travelling downstream will be harder to control and have right of way over craft travelling upstream

- Floating debris or underwater obstructions may stop your engines(s) or foul your propeller(s).

- Large vessels such as passenger boats need plenty of space to
manoeuvre. Stay well clear of them and be prepared to take evasive action

- Take care in the vicinity of bridges. The severely restricted headroom / width and fast flow is particularly hazardous.

- Ensure that a mooring is available at your destination before you set off. In the event of difficulty we strongly advise you to seek a safe mooring at the nearest available location.

- Please note that many water, pump out and elsan facilities at locks are not working due to flood damage. Please check with lock staff.

- Thames Navigation information may be broadcast from time to time on Ch 74 and Ch 06 Marine Band VHF.

- IN AN EMERGENCY INVOLVING IMMINENT RISK TO
SAFETY CALL 999

Masters of vessels should be aware that a failure to follow the advice of the Navigation Authority not to navigate may invalidate an insurance policy.