And what about the old Waterloo Pier? It is derelict. The RNLI are trying to raise £750,000 for its refurbishment. It has been surveyed and found to be in reasonable condition but in June 2004 it is scheduled to be towed to a dry dock where the hull will be examined and repaired if found necessary. It will be returned to its original place on Victoria Embankment almost under Waterloo Bridge and will again become operational. For additional information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk.
The RNLI currently have a temporary station at Tower Pier where their crew quarters are anything but satisfactory. Not only are they claustrophobic, but passengers awaiting river boats walk, run and jump directly above crews trying to sleep. They are greatly looking forward to the time when Waterloo Pier is re-commissioned and will become a Lifeboat Station where they can be at the center of the action and keep a lookout on the river.
London's great River Thames has a long and distinguished history, it is safe, clean and in good hands. When in the area take a ride on the nearby London Eye, a huge Ferris Wheel on the Embankment that was opened in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium. You will have a remarkable view of London and see the river in all its glory.
Author: Ex-Sgt. 5. David van Vlymen, May 2004