Port of London Authority



> Tributes paid to
   Gordon Coates

> New barge order

> Thames cargo ship
   helps rescue drowning

> New pier at Blackfriars

> £20 million ‘illuminated
   River’ winner named

> Another ferry gong for

> Rowing club top of the
   safety league

> Tidal Thames rule 
   breaker fined

> Tilbury – paper
   shipments boost

> London Gateway –
   habitat opens

> Thames VTS officers
   retire on same day


A man who’s done more than most
to pull wrecks out of the tidal Thames, has celebrated 50 years
in the job.

Salvage master Chris Bright, 65,
from Gravesend, Kent, joined the
Port of London Authority as an apprentice waterman in 1966, working on the old Yantlet salvage vessel. He sailed up the ranks,
from junior hand to deckhand, to leading hand, then mate before
finally became a salvage master in the early 90s, which he remains to this day. He’s worked on hundreds
of salvage jobs but remembers
one in particular that was a bit
dicey, to say the least.

Chris said: “We were once called to London Gateway and thought we
were picking up a generator but it
was a Second World War explosive. The Army came and dealt with it.
I remember the guy on the phone

asking how we knew it was a bomb,
I told him ‘because it looks like one’.
“Also, one of the crew was an
ex-naval guy and he’d seen plenty
in his time.”

Recently, dad-of-two Chris, who

says he loves getting to grips with

the latest technology, has been master on our £7 million superboat Titan. He also spent 33 years as master of the PLA’s former salvage vessel Crossness.

“50 years is a long time to have worked on the river, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it”, he said.
“When I first joined my duties involved cleaning the Yantlet and ‘doing what
I was told’. I later worked in lighterage,
but I’ve most loved working salvage.
I’ve loved my time here but have been thinking recently about when to retire. Hopefully, it won’t be too soon.”

PLA director of marine operations Peter Steen said: “In my time as salvage officer I worked with Chris on many interesting jobs including the Sand Kite in 1997 and the Arco Arun in 1998 and also the last four craft lift of the crane barge, Doubler.

“These were serious jobs but they were really enjoyable too, as Chris always keeps his sense of humour even in the tightest of fixes. He’s always done a terrific job and I have the greatest respect for his boat-handling skills and in-depth knowledge of salvage on the Thames.”






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