Pharos Marine has announced a new Port of London contract – navigation aids for the Thames Barrier. This important barrier controls and prevents surge levels of water in the River Thames and at the same time must allow the free passage of vessels up and down stream in the river. Experience over the years and incidents where visual indications are insufficient have necessitated a re-look at the navigation requirements.
Following successful trials with radar responder beacons the Port of London Authority decided to install ten racons, five for upstream and five downstream. These racons are an all weather navigational aid such that they will indicate on the ship’s radar, which is the correct passage. The high intensity lights will be retained as a visual indicator. To further enhance the existing system, two fog detectors will be installed which will monitor visibility and give the barrier staff an indication of the river mist and fog density which in turn will allow the light intensity to be set according to the visibility level.
Pharos Marine has been selected to provide the new racons, called a Phalcon-2000 together with the visibility monitors. The company will also provide all of the necessary controls and alarm functions with installation on the Thames Barrier. The Phalcon-2000 is a new generation of racon to meet the needs of lighthouse authorities, harbour operators and the oil industry that install racons on offshore platforms.