Using Larger Waterways

Boaters attempting to navigate larger navigations need to be aware of the associated dangers and requirements. For example, many of the larger waterways require boaters to use VHF radio to communicate with other vessels and shore station (e.g. ports, locks, bridges and marinas) on operational, navigation and safety matters. Boaters also need to be aware of the required use of navigation lights, sound signals and waterways signage.

Navigating the Tidal Thames

Port of London Authority Guidance

See the Port of London Authority website for the Recreational Users' Guide and other useful information.

Download River Thames Tideway Guides:

Thames Tideway Guide - Upstream Edition (2006) - covers Limehouse to Brentford, Limehouse to Teddington
Thames Tideway Guide - Downstream Edition (2006) - covers Teddington to Brentford, Teddington to Limehouse, Brentford to Limehouse

Environment Agency Navigation Strong Stream Advice

The Environment Agency issues Strong Stream Advice, whenever flows reach a level that could be hazardous to boaters on its navigations.

Strong Stream Advice particularly applies to the Rivers Great Ouse and Nene in East Anglia, because of the unique way that some locks on these rivers are ‘reversed’ during flood events and at times of high flows.

The Strong Stream Advice system advises river users when locks are ‘reversed’ and EA strongly advises against attempting to navigate.

When Strong Stream Advice is in force, red flags, signs and warning lights at various lock sites are activated.

EA will call those that have signed up to the scheme, free of charge, using an automated service,  to advise when Strong Stream Advice has been issued or cancelled. Text and email facilities are also available.

If you would like to sign up to receive this free service for either the River Great Ouse, River Nene or River Ancholme please contact EA on 01522 785943. Further information can be obtained by telephoning EA's Floodline Information Service on 0845 988 1188.

More information can be found on EA's website