To ensure safety, some water sports activities -- like the use of personal watercraft, windsurfing or kiteboarding -- are restricted to certain areas of the river.
The use of personal watercraft, commonly called jet skis, is restricted to Fobbing Creek and West Beach in Southend.
Waterskiing is authorised at Marsh End Sands, Tewkes Creek and Holehaven Creek.
Windsurfing is only advisable on the tidal Thames to the west of Putney Bridge and in the following areas provided that they are clear of the navigable channel and approaches to commercial berths:
- Erith Rands
- Mucking Flats
- Blyth Sands/All Hallows
- Southend Pier to Canvey Island (Thorney Bay)
Please refer to the Port of London Thames byelaws for full details, but in summary:
- Vessels are not to exceed a speed of 8 knots above Wandsworth Bridge, in all creeks linked to the tidal Thames, and off Southend-on-Sea. This limit is advisory at Coryton and Thurrock when gas tankers are berthed.
- There is a mandatory 12 knot speed limit which applies to vessels navigating above Margaretness unless a Certificate of Compliance has been issied by the PLA for the areas between Margaretness and St Saviour’s Dock and Lambeth Bridge and Wandsworth Bridge.
Observe these restrictions and the speed limits that have been put in place for your own safety and that of other mariners.