Boat master training

MQT on 2007-01-30
Session date: 
January 30, 2007
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Do you support the protests against the Government's lowering of training standards for boatmasters, and do you agree with me that the Thames, with its dangerous tides, should be granted special status under the EC directive such has been awarded to the Rhine and Danube?


Answer for Boat master training

Answer for Boat master training

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The new requirements for Boatmaster licences require a minimum age of 21 (as previously for passenger boats) and a minimum training period of 2 years. In order to captain a boat in the area between the Thames Barrier and Putney, a local knowledge endorsement will be required for which 6 months experience will be necessary. Other endorsements will be required for towing or to captain a small passenger boat (under 250 passengers) or a large passenger boat.Previously there were no statutory licensing requirements for tug, motorised barge or ferry captains between Teddington and Tilbury. The old Watermen's licences were gained through oral examination and testimonials. The new Boatmaster Licence will be issued after passing a practical examination. Previously only large passenger boat endorsements required a practical examination. Endorsements will be re-examined every 5 years whereas previously licences were issued for life. In the past licences were granted for life without practical examinations and there was no statutory requirement to hold a licence to captain a tug, motorised barge or cross river ferry. The new arrangements are far more open and transparent, close a number of loopholes and require practical examinations and retesting every 5 years.