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   There’s an app for that

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Bin it, for a Cleaner Thames

A selfless RNLI lifeboat crew member – who’s helped rescue more than 700 people and save 87 lives – has reached a major milestone.

Dave Parry, helmsman at Gravesend RNLI lifeboat station, this month launched on his 1,000th ever call and has spent a total of
24 years coming to people’s aid
at sea and on the Thames.

The 51-year-old started
volunteering for the charity in Whitstable, Kent, in 1992. Later,
in 2002, he became a full-time helmsman at Gravesend and continues to volunteer at
the former.

One of Whitstable-based Dave’s most memorable calls was in May 2011 when Gravesend lifeboat launched to a 170-tonne barge loaded with sand on her way to London. The Francesca Prior was on fire just off Higham.

A ground-breaking mobile app, designed to let hauliers book
and check the status of their containers, has been launched
by Tilbury chiefs.

In what is thought to be a first for British ports, the “fully integrated” free app software lets London Container Terminal (LCT) users
keep an eye on containers using
a phone or tablet.

The straightforward app can be used on iOS and Android devices and David Thomson, group IT project manager at Forth Ports said it’s already getting positive feedback.

He added: “We wanted to capture the opportunity to improve our service for our customers and we took the time to design the new VBS system to improve the ease

of use and provide enhanced capabilities. The mobile app
is a further extension to the
new system similarly targeted
to further improving our service offering to our hauliers, by providing them with efficient
and easy to use capabilities
whilst on the move.”

Find out more

There was a sudden drop in the weather with a very heavy squall passing down the river, as well as high winds. This was worsened by heavy rain making visibility poor for the two men on board.

The barge crew were helped to ventilate the wheelhouse and clearing the smoke so the vessel could be diverted to the PLA’s Marine Services depot at Denton Wharf. One of Dave’s calls on the Kent coast has featured in the TV programme Emergency 999.

He said: “At Gravesend we operate on a 12-hour shift pattern to ensure the station is manned 24/7 – 365 days a year. This helps us reach 90% of incidents within 15 minutes of being requested to launch.

“The call to go will come direct from London Coastguard. When I’m at Whitstable I get paged in the traditional way and it can go off anytime day or night. I could be shopping, eating my dinner or even asleep when the pager can go off so I will stop or drop everything and make my way to the station a few minutes away.”






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