Body found after tugboat sinking

Arj Singh
Wednesday 17 August 2011 16:34 BST

A man's body has been found following the sinking of a tugboat in the River Thames.

It was found near Convoy's Wharf, Deptford, south London, a spokesman for the Port of London Authority (PoLA) said.

Two crew members were rescued after the tug, called Chieftain, sank off Greenwich Pier in south London just before 11am on Friday.

A 40-year-old crewman was reported missing after falling into the water.

The family of the missing man were "told very quickly of the development", said a PoLA spokesman, but the body found on Monday evening had not been formally identified.

The tug was towing a barge with a crane on it when it sank.

The body was found by a PoLA patrol boat and pulled out of the water half an hour later by the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit.

Thames safety measures were tightened in the aftermath of the 1989 Marchioness riverboat sinking disaster in which 51 people died when their boat was in a collision with a dredger on the Thames near Southwark, south London.

The improved measures included the setting up of the London coastguard which is located at the Thames Barrier Navigation Centre at Woolwich.

The sinking followed the death on the Thames last week of Ben Woollacott, 19, a crewman on the Woolwich Ferry.

He fell from the ferry and under its propeller while mooring ropes were being untied.

Paramedics treated the crewman when he was pulled from the water, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was the son of Stephen Woollacott, owner of a Thames riverboat company.

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