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Adventurer Steve Backshall has paddled his way to gruelling success – after canoeing 125 miles for 23 hours non-stop along the Thames.

Steve, famous for high-octane wildlife documentaries and appearing on BBC’s Strictly last year, finished the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race alongside pal George Barnicoat on Easter Sunday.

Their breakneck voyage finished at the House of Commons, Westminster – alongside more than 620 rowers.

Despite three rudder wire snaps, aching limbs, tiredness and neck and back pain, Steve and George came through the marathon row largely unscathed – raising more than £45,000 for World Land Trust, an organisation fighting to save rainforests in Latin America.

Steve said: “We were hampered by not one, but three rudder wire snaps. One of these happened in the middle of nowhere, meaning we had to run with the boat on our shoulders for maybe half an hour.

“George showed great fortitude, battling on despite neck and back pain – and some real low points in the night, where he kept falling asleep at the paddle…”
He added: “A huge thank you to everyone who came along to support us along the route. Your banners, cheers and wishes carried us through the darkest hours. And an even bigger thank

you to everyone who has donated to the cause. We have raised enough money now to buy around 500 acres of primary rainforest in Colombia, and with the help of the World Land Trust ensure it will never be cut down.”

Find out how

We recently launched an updated guide to help leisure and sporting skippers enjoy the tidal Thames safely.
The free, easy-to-read waterproof pamphlet is packed with important safety information, practical advice and key points of interest. It replaces the PLA’s previous guide, published two years ago which quickly earned its place on every Thames navigator’s chart table.

The latest version also includes:
 Ebb tide flag warning advice
 Information about the PLA’s
 new anti-sewage measure,
 Byelaw 49
 Location information about new navigation buoys.
But that’s not all. As always, the handy guide comes complete with practical guidance, marine/leisure

activity areas, danger zones, Vessel Traffic Services information, port VHF channels, speed limits, club information and useful contact numbers. There’s also a summary of local port rules and regulations too.

Jon Beckett, assistant harbour master (recreation), said: "Our latest easy-to-read guide is designed to help people enjoy our world-famous river in safety.

“It doesn’t replace the regular navigation chart, but provides recreational river users with navigational and safety information about the tidal Thames in a concise format.
"It’s a must-have for anyone thinking about visiting or using the river during the busy summer months, or at any other time of the year. The tidal Thames is an extremely busy commercial port so everyone needs to prepare well before setting out, particularly less experienced navigators. Taking time to understand the basic rules and safety advice in this guide will help people stay safe on the water.”

Free copies of the new recreational guide are available from our Gravesend office. Tel: 01474 562269 for more details.







Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200