Hammersmith Bridge issues
2nd November 2020
Outings to Chelsea.
After consultation with the PLA after a question was asked by one of the clubs, weekend outings to Chelsea Bridge are permissible as long as they are in accordance with the following from the Tideway Code:
Rowing boats are advised to inform London VTS if they go below Wandsworth Bridge but it has been agreed that they may proceed as far as Chelsea Bridge without having to contact London VTS. This is a concession, don't abuse it! Due to commercial barge traffic movements at various freight facilities, rowers must not proceed below Fulham Railway bridge for 3hrs before and 2hrs after high tide. Times refer to High Tide at London Bridge
As most of you know the barges either side of Hammersmith Bridge move each day. Unfortunately when they return to Hammersmith Bridge their position has not been consistent. If you believe the barges are in a place which makes it unsafe to turn please submit an incident report preferably with photos, which I will pass onto the PLA.
There will be bridge openings to allow boats to move through the bridge in a controlled way. I know from a number of people that when this last occurred some crews had to cope with some unnecessarily large wash. If this happens again please report the vessel to London VTS +44 20 3260 7711 as soon as possible.
Barges to Fulham
I had a verbal report about a barge being pushed up to Fulham FC without any lights on the barge, the tug was correctly light. Apparently this is not correct and the barge should have a white light on the bows. If you see a barge without the correct light, please report to London VTS and submit a report which I will forward to the PLA.
To sum up if you see something wrong please report it. At the same time we as a rowing community have to keep our house in order by navigating and acting responsibly.
Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council