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News - 21/10/18

Incident 21st October 2018

The Port of Cowes confirms that an incident has occurred within the Inner Harbour and in restricted visibility at approximately 0810 hours today (Sunday, 21st October). A Red Funnel vehicle ferry has run aground off East Cowes. At the time of this statement there are no reported casualties. 

Emergency response procedures have been initiated and relevant authorities have been advised. All support services are being co-coordinated through the authorities’ incident response team and every possible effort is being made both to minimise risk to personnel at the scene and to contain and mitigate any effects. Further information will be released as it becomes available. 

Capt. S. McIntosh 
Cowes Harbour Master 

Update 11:15hrs 21st Oct 2018
The Red Funnel vehicle ferry is now safely alongside East Cowes Red Funnel terminal.

Capt. S. McIntosh – Cowes Harbour Master

Update 13:50 21st Oct 2018
The Red Funnel vehicle ferry has now been permitted to sail for Southampton. The relevant authorities have been informed and investigations are underway.

Capt. S. McIntosh – Cowes Harbour Master

Update 09:55 22nd Oct 2018
It is intended to salvage today (Monday, 22nd October 2018) the sunken vessel that is in the southern main harbour Small Craft Moorings Area, to minimise any further risk to navigation and the environment.

Capt. S. McIntosh – Cowes Harbour Master

Update 09:50 23rd Oct 2018
The salvage of the sunken vessel, a 32ft cruising yacht, was successfully completed yesterday, 22nd October, by Cowes Harbour Commission and MMC Diving Services. The vessel has been taken to the Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard at Kingston Wharf for inspection.

The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), Red Funnel and Cowes Harbour Commission are conducting an investigation into the Red Funnel vehicle ferry incident.

Red Funnel has issued a further statement regarding the incident that took place in fog on Sunday, 21st October:

Fran Collins, Red Funnel CEO said: “Our Southampton-East Cowes service is operating as scheduled today (22nd Oct) following yesterday’s incident involving Red Falcon. An underwater survey and detailed inspection found that there was no damage to the ship which is back in service and operating normally.”

“Red Funnel has a proactive safety management culture and a detailed internal investigation into this incident has been initiated to identify the root cause. Whilst the investigation is underway, the navigational team involved in the incident will not be rostered on board which is in accordance with best practice. As normal, the investigation will also consider any other similar incidents that have occurred, both internally and industry-wide, and will seek to identify any common factors. Prior to completion of the report, however, and as a precautionary measure, some amendments to our bridge operating procedures in reduced visibility have been made although these changes are not expected to impact on the reliability of the service or the frequency of weather-related cancellations.”

Following the 27th September incident in Cowes Harbour involving a Red Funnel ferry in fog and this further incident on 21st October, CHC has issued a temporary General Direction No. 3.18.2 (T) on navigation in the harbour in restricted visibility,

Cowes Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh, stated: “Cowes Harbour Commission’s number one priority is safety in the harbour. CHC takes these incidents extremely seriously and is prioritising the investigation to ensure that lessons will be learned and any actions or recommendations to further improve safety will be implemented as soon as possible. I confirm that CHC is working closely and with the full cooperation of Red Funnel’s senior management team on these investigations into recent incidents in the harbour, and also assisting the MCA and MAIB with their investigations.”

Capt. S. McIntosh – Cowes Harbour Master