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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Potentially a serious situation on the Tidaway and a big thanks to the PLA

    Apologies for the delay in posting this.
    Inward bound and approaching the QE2 Bridge doing about 20knts in my single engine boat I picked up a rope and subsequently deployed the anchor which didnít hold in the fast flowing tide and then it did hold. By some miracle the rope had not attached itself to the duo props. We eventually got the rope off which was attached to a trim tab I think, the water is very discoloured on the tideway as others will know so we couldnít see what it was attached to. The rope was 14mtrs long and 8.5cms thick Ö yes really
    Then we couldnít recover the anchor as it was fouled on something 15mtrs down. After about 30 minutes by maneuvering the boat we got the anchor up with a steel cable attached which we returned to the depths. Thank goodness we did as itís a stainless steel anchor which arenít cheap. On my previous sea trip we also picked up a rope not far from Tower Bridge which caught in the props so for this to happen a second time prompted me to report the incident to the PLA not expecting a reply but at least it would be reported and I will have vented my anger. But what a surprise I did get a reply from the PLA as below and what a good response too. I am now their number one fan.
    ďIn reference to your report of an occurring on 7th July 2019, we have now investigated this matter further.

    The distinctive appearance of the rope in question enabled us to trace the source to one particular commercial operator with a large fleet of tugs and barges based on the Thames, who have been made aware of the incident. In response, the operator in question has given us details of their of their disposal procedures and stated that they are regularly disposing of enough old rope to be confident that the process is being followed by crews. They have also cited theft of ropes from unattended barges, which is a genuine issue. However, in response to being made aware of the incident, the operator has issued a Communication to all crews re-affirming their procedures and the importance of good housekeeping on tugs, towed craft and collar barges.

    The Port of London Authority also has a number of measures in place tackling floating debris, such as our Passive Driftwood Collectors (as far as we are aware, unique in the UK) and Driftwood Collection Vessels. Our Harbour Service Patrols also keep watch for sources of debris and frequently remove items from the water. We also tackle known sources of debris with those responsible.

    We encourage river users to immediately report any sightings of floating debris to our VTS centres at Gravesend and Woolwich so that assets can be tasked if necessary and other vessels warned. For the same reasons we also recommend and in many case require incidents to be reported to VTS as soon as possible.

    Thankyou again for making us aware of this incident and please let me know if you have any questions"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001

    Default Re: Potentially a serious situation on the Tidaway and a big thanks to the PLA

    Thats an impressive response, EA should take note
    I picked up a similar peice of rope about 4 years ago under Blackfriers Bridge, it caught on both duoprops and stopped both engines dead! Managed to restart one and keep going but it was a bit touch and go for a while.
    Didn't think to report it but will do the next time, this sort of incident seems to be becoming more common.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Potentially a serious situation on the Tidaway and a big thanks to the PLA

    Interesting, we picked up o rope outbound a couple of years ago just there, wrapped around props so were down to 5 knts all the way to Fambridge, & to add insult to injury nav electronics gave up at the same time, nearly put Nicky off ever going out again, reading chart on bumpy sea at 5 knts made her seasick so ended up with navionics on phone !


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