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Ferry crew saved boater in Solent
The 'Red Falcon' was at the centre of a dramatic rescue on April 14, 2022, after a person got into trouble in the Solent. The ferry was stopped mid-sailing after staff spotted a person in the water, alongside a small dingy at around 3.30 p.m. Between 3.38 p.m. and 3.40 p.m. the crew had prepared a rescue boat for launch and within 1-2 minutes of launch they had reached the casualty. Crew reported the incident to Southampton Patrol and a rescue boat met the vessel as it docked. Emergency services attended shortly after.
Ferries delayed due to trouble with passenger
Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry service has come to a halt on Nov 1, 2020, after a disabled passenger was unwilling or unable to disembark at East Cowes from the 'Red Falcon' on Nov 1. The ferry was docked at the East Cowes terminal with the passenger still onboard, causing significant delays to the East Cowes-Southampton Service. The 'Red Osprey' was floating off Cowes waiting to dock on the Island and the 'Red Eagle' was unable to leave Southampton. The situation is likely to cause delays for the rest of the evening. At 6.10 p.m. the policewas in attendance at the East Cowes terminal. At 6:56 p.m. the service was back underway with the passenger removed from the vessel. The Isle of Wight Ambulance Service have attended the incident.
MAIB published report in allision and grounding
The temporary master of the 'Red Falcon' which sunk a yacht and ran aground off East Cowes became ‘cognitively overloaded due to high stress. the MAIB accident report has concluded. The Maritime Accident Investigation Branch has spent almost 18 months investigating the major incident, which saw the ferry almost crash into the Cowes Yacht Haven marina wall and narrowly avoided hitting a family sleeping on a yacht. On Oct 21, 2018, around 8 a.m. the 'Red Falcon' was navigating in severely reduced visibility in Cowes Harbour. Subsequently, the master lost orientation when the vessel swung out of control, departed the navigable channel and was spun around through 220 degrees. In his confusion, the master drove the ferry in the wrong direction resulting in a collision with the moored yacht ‘Greylag’ which was sunk on its mooring as a result. The ferry with 48 people on board then ran aground just 130 metres off of East Cowes esplanade, close enough to the shore that locals could connect to the onboard wifi. This all happened in between 50-200m of visibility. In their report, the MAIB explained that the ferry crew was struggling to maintain the required course resulting in the master taking over the controls from the Chief Officer. The vessel was swinging from starboard to port and by 08:10 had swung 220 degrees from its original heading. It was at this point the decision was made to abort the berthing and head back out of Cowes Harbour and the power was increased – but in the wrong direction. Just a minute later the car ferry crashed into Greylag at a speed of 6.5 knots, causing it to go under the water and immediately sink. The engines were pulled back but the ferry continued towards East Cowes Esplanade, running aground in soft mud around 130m from the shore. Once aground, the master ordered the anchor to be dropped and alerted the HM Coastguard. At about the same time the Coastguard received a distress call from the skipper of a nearby yacht and reports of cries for help coming from the fog. In response, lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Teams and the Cowes Harbour Commission motor launch to search for persons in the water. It was eventually concluded that no one was in the water, but by this time a major incident had been declared. Later in the day, the 'Red Falcon' was manoeuvred to the East Cowes ferry terminal with the aid of a local tug, where all the passengers and vehicles were discharged. It has been confirmed that the crew were breathalysed with negative results. The MAIB has concluded that there were a number of safety issues on the day in question. The master became fixated upon the information displayed on his electronic chart and operating engine controls, ignored information displayed on other electronic equipment and became cognitively overloaded due to high stress. Furthermore, the bridge team became disengaged from the operation due to a lack of clear communications and emergency scenario training. It has also been identified that the hazard to people sleeping on yachts in Cowes Harbour had not been sufficiently mitigated within risk assessments. Red Funnel has been recommended to conduct regular assessment of ship-handling capabilities including pilotage by instruments alone and to review the shipboard method of determining orientation displayed on the ship’s electronic charting system. The Cowes Harbour Commission and the Cowes Yacht Haven have been recommended to review their risk assessments for a collision between a commercial vessel and raft of yachts moored at their marinas detailing mitigating measures that are within their control to implement. Report with photos: https://www.islandecho.co.uk/accident-report-into-red-funnel-grounding-and-sinking-of-yacht-released/Upload News