Extending from Richmond in Surrey to Gravesend in Kent, 'Thame's' goal is to make sure that the river is safe for freight and passenger vessels, as well as recreational river users.
The vessel uses sonar, laser and photographic equipment to map the river’s contours and identify potential artefacts and dangers, hidden in its bank, jetties and walls. It can also carry out commercial work.
Heidi Alexander stated:
I’m delighted to officially name Thame. Her projects so far have included crucial work to support Transport for London deliver the new Woolwich Ferry terminals and ensure they can accommodate our new low-emission ferries
Speaking on the occasion, Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive, mentioned that 'Thames' will be key to ensure that people can make the most of the river, safely.
The vessel will also help deliver key projects, such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel and new river crossings, which aim to protect the long-term health and prosperity of the river.