Port of London Authority

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is a trust port. Our operations cover 95 miles of the River Thames. We work to keep commercial and leisure users safe, protect and enhance the environment and promote the use of the river for trade and travel.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Approximately 30 people drown in the tidal Thames each year. Most of these tragedies are linked to mental health issues. But on top of that tragic figures, there are an estimated 700 incidents that happen each year on the river, where a person’s life is at risk, either by misunderstanding or as a result of a suicide attempt.

The Drowning Prevention Strategy for the tidal Thames has been produced by a partnership between the PLA, the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), London Ambulance Service and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

These organisations are calling on everyone to play their part in saving lives by following safety advice and having the confidence to intervene if they see someone in danger or who seems on the verge of self-harm on the river. We are committed to working together to reduce the number of incidents on the river.

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What are your current priorities?

Our initial, short-term priorities include the publication of A Safer Riverside – Guidance for development alongside and on the tidal River Thames, and an evolving community outreach project.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Sharing best practice and learnings from other sectors are the areas we hope to develop most through joining the NSPA.

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