Lock approach

River navigation

Traffic on the river is controlled from the Port of London Authority (PLA) control room at the Thames Barrier (Callsign  “London VTS”).

When navigating the river, you must keep a listening watch on VHF channel 68 from the estuary upstream to Crayford Ness. For upstream of Crayford Ness, you should listen on VHF channel 14 for any instructions and to get clearance for the barrier.

For useful navigational information and speed limits for the river, download the PLA guide on Tidal Thames or download the mobile app.

South Dock location

51o30’.07N 00o00’.50. Located on the South bank of the River Thames, immediately downstream of the Greenland Pier. The Entrance is 2.7 miles downstream of Tower Bridge, 1.15 miles upstream of Greenwich Pier and 4.3 miles upstream of the Thames Barrier.

Waiting berth

There's a waiting berth on the shore (inner) side of Greenland pier on the downstream arm. Mooring on this jetty can be quite rough due to commercial traffic and leisure users should always give way to commercial vessels using the pier.


  • VHF radio - channels 37 and 80 (M) (callsign 'South Dock Marina')
  • telephone - 0207 252 2244 (Dock Master's duty mobile); 07950 805 509 (out of hour emergency number)
  • address - Lock Office, Rope Street, London, SE16 7SZ
  • email -

Opening times

  • Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm
  • weekends and bank holidays 8am to 5pm

Lock access

The marina is accessible via a sea lock that operates during office hours when there's sufficient water. For a 2 metre draft vessel this is nominally 2 hours before HW to 1 ½ hours after HW. The lock cill is 2.85 metres above chart datum. In calculating sufficient depth on the cill for a specific draft, deduct 2.85 metres from the predicted tide level. We suggest you allow a minimum of 0.3 metre extra for safety, as there can be significant wash on the river due to the number and size of vessels passing the lock entrance.

Lock dimensions

The lock has a maximum length of 31 metres and a maximum clear width at the gates of 6.5 metres. For safe navigation our maximum length of boat is 25 metres overall and our beam limit is normally 6 metres. Due to the height of the lock cill, we usually do not accept vessels with more than 2.6 metres unless on a spring tide.

Lock etiquette

When entering the lock, listen for instructions from the Dock Masters. Our lock has rope loops on both sides to stabilise vessels; these can be held from the vessel deck. If the lock is being loaded with multiple vessels, it's important to listen to instructions and only release your lines when instructed to leave the lock. During busy periods, the lock may be filled with multiple vessels in close contact.

Visitor berth allocation

For visiting boats, the Dock Master will provide your berth allocation and directions to the berth when you're in the lock. The layout of the marina can be found on our Mooring page.


The marina is covered by a CCTV system and all gates are controlled by an access control system. Depending on what part of the marina you're berthed, you'll be issued with either an electronic key fob (against a £15 returnable deposit) or a 4 figure access code. Access codes change frequently.

Page last updated: 23 November 2022


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