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Mark Towens joined the PLA as a Marine Apprentice in 1999. During his 5 year apprenticeship Mark undertook further education in marine surveying and fully qualified as both a Marine Surveyor and Freeman of the Company of Waterman & Lighterman in 2004.
In 2004 Mark was appointed as the PLA’s Marine Surveyor in charge of the Vessel Licensing department with responsibility for inspecting and licensing some 600 vessels operating on the tidal Thames. During this time, Mark was extensively involved in the development of the National Boatmaster’s Licence, Inland Waterways Freight Vessel Standards and National Fitness for Purpose Scheme implementing the latter standard into the PLA’s licensing regime in 2006.
Mark was appointed to Deputy Harbour Master (Upper) in October 2011 where he was responsible for incident investigation within the district as well as leading on commercial vessel issues. A highlight was taking command of the 178 vessels in the Historic Squadron during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in 2012 and involvement in the London 2012 Olympics.
In February 2014; Mark was appointed to his present position as Harbour Master for the Port of London’s Upper District from Dagenham, Essex to Teddington in West London. He holds an MBA from Middlesex University.