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Seal numbers increasing in the Thames

Credit: ZSL

The number of seals in the Greater Thames Estuary has increased from 685 to 938 individuals since last year, according to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Conservationists and volunteers took to the skies, boarded boats, and tip-toed across marshland for the second year of the annual seal survey.

The Greater Thames Estuary is home to harbour seals and grey seals. Despite their close proximity to the capital, these populations are some of the least understood in the UK. But having witnessed declines of up to 90 per cent in some Scottish harbour seal populations, conservationists are now keen to keep a close eye on the smaller of the two species in the Greater Thames Estuary.

"With harbour seal numbers remaining stable and grey seal numbers more than doubling since last year, the result of this year's survey is a good indicator of the health of the Greater Thames Estuary.Grey seal numbers are increasing along the East coast, so it's not surprising that more are moving into the estuary. However, it is important that we use the same methodology to complete the survey every year in order to identify these changes, and investigate how this affects the harbour seal population."

– Joanna Barker, ZSL conservationist

Thames Clipper fog disruption

Thames boat commute numbers rise by 20%

Boat journeys on The Thames in central London rose to a record 8.5 million last year thanks in part to tourists taking advantage of a fine summer.

The number of journeys increased by two million on the previous year with commuter trips also up by 20 per cent.

The figures were published at a City Hall summit to discuss ways of meeting the mayor’s target of achieving 12 million passengers by 2020.

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Assembly to examine fire response on Duck Tour

A Duck Tours vehicle in Battersea Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The London Assembly will today examine the emergency response to afire aboard a London Duck Tours amphibious vehicle cruising the Thames on 29September 2013.

The Assembly's Thames Passenger Boat Investigation Committee will question passengers, staff and emergency services about the response to the fire and how companies operating such craft are regulated.

Thames Path among the world's best city hikes

The Thames Path has been named one of the best city hikes in the world by Lonely Planet. The walk, which takes in Battersea Power Station, Westminster and the Thames Barrier, is described as "a London highlights reel". It comes second only to a rainforest trek in Rio De Janeiro.

Source: Lonely Planet Guide

Lifeboat search for man who walked straight into the Thames

One of London’s lifeboats was dispatched on an emergency rescue mission in the Thames this afternoon after a man was seen walking straight into the river.**

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Eyewitnesses reported that a fully clothed man was seen walking down into the river by the Oxo Tower until out of his depth, and then disappeared from view.

The RNLI lifeboat crew responded to a call from the Coastguard around 2pm along with a rescue boat from the Met Police. However, after an hour's searching they were called off after finding no trace of the man.

It's understood a further search will take place later this evening.

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