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BBC Radio reported this afternoon that a Red Funnel line ferry had collided with landing stage at Southampton causing whiplash injuries and damage to bow doors. There are a number of casualties caused by whiplash injuries. An ambulance is on board with a casualty inside and cannot currently be taken off due to bow door damage. I didn't catch the name of the ferry and it is not on the BBC website yet.

Brian
 

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This was put on the BBC site just as I made the previous posting:



Nine hurt as ferry hits terminal

Nine people have been injured after an Isle of Wight ferry smashed into a car ramp as it was docking in Southampton.

An ambulance carrying an injured woman from the island is still on board the Red Falcon ferry, which crashed into the ramp at Red Funnel terminal.

One crew member and a member of the public, who is thought to have spinal injuries, are among the injured.

Getting the ambulance off is now "top priority", police said on Friday. The injured have been taken to hospital.

Ferry disruption

The ferry is due to dock again at gate four.

A Solent Coastguard spokesman said: "The ferry actually hit the Link Span when it was coming in which has caused some injuries to passengers."

The car ferry transports a range of vehicles and passengers, including trucks, coaches, motorbikes and cars.

The spokesman added the route from Cowes to Southampton "is one of the main links for people on the Isle of Wight to come into the mainland and vice versa".

Vehicles wanting to travel to the island have been diverted to the city's Leisure World complex on West Quay Road, which is being used as a holding area at this stage, police said.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: "There will be some considerable disruption to the ferry services from and to the island.

"There were a number of passengers onboard, fortunately there are very few injuries. "There are paramedics onboard and they are dealing with some of the injuries." She added attempts were being made to accommodate the passengers and control traffic.



Brian
 

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Yes, it is Red Falcon. Nine people was injured. The patient in the ambulance was taken off. One passenger said that as she was coming in she kept going rather than slowing down crashing into the ramp at the Red Funnel terminal Southampton. One passenger and one crew member is thought to have spinal injuries. Local BBC TV has just said that passengers were thrown to the floor on the boat. Their words not mine?!. David
 

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Latest news. 24 passengers are still on board. One crew member who was knocked unconscious is said to be okay. Safety experts are deciding whether it is safe to move her to another berth to disembark the remaining passengers according to BBC South. David
 

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Am I just being thick but how can a vessel like that run full pelt into the link span if it is under proper control from the bridge? Or is that a stupid question?
 

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No doubt all that will come out in the enquiry now under way. I don't think she was going full pelt, but travelling at quite a speed according to passengers who spoke to the local BBC when they came off. The damage to her bow and people falling over injuring themselves suggests she was travelling pretty fast. David
 

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Thanks Jeff, but surely the crew could have issued some sort of warning to the passengers. I would appear from reports she didn't make any attempt to slow down which would give the impression it happened well off the berth as he would have reduced speed on the approach. Perhaps not being a seaman I've the wrong end of the stick here but I would have thought the bridge would have at least some communication with the engine room.
 

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I've never been on a IOW ferry but i know that if you are do the same job day after day you know exactly when to reduce speed, stop and come astern, to do the job as quickly as possible on a very handy ferry by the time you realise the bridge control is not working there is little you can do in the time left before you hit, but as Pompyfan says all will be revealed in an enquiry. Maybe the skipper was suddenly taken unwell.
 

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Jeff Egan said:
I've never been on a IOW ferry but i know that if you are do the same job day after day you know exactly when to reduce speed, stop and come astern, to do the job as quickly as possible on a very handy ferry by the time you realise the bridge control is not working there is little you can do in the time left before you hit, but as Pompyfan says all will be revealed in an enquiry. Maybe the skipper was suddenly taken unwell.
Once again thanks Jeff for the words of wisdom, as Pompyfan says all will be revealed at the enquiry. These things are never simple are they?
 

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Engine Room Staff

I do not know the ship, but I would be pleasantly surprised if there was anyone in the engine room. It is all bridge control these days.

Fred
 

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No doubt Moaf will bring us up to date on engine room and bridge crew when he comes on line even though he works for another company. Jeff is right, these ferries are doing the same job every day and know exactly when to slow down. I travel on them a lot, and they always seem to come in too quick, but always slow down, except this time. So it is easy to see how an accident can happen if there is a mechanical failure. Like Jeff said, there would be little you can do in the time left before you hit. These ferries are running to a timetable which I assume is why they leave it to the last minute to slow down. But an enquiry may make them slow down sooner giving the skipper time to take a defferent course of action if something goes wrong. David
 

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An MCA press release says:-
Solent Coastguard are currently assisting other Agencies after the
Red Funnel ferry 'Red Falcon' suffered a collision with the link span at Southampton's Town Quay earlier this afternoon.

Coastguards have been dispatched to the scene and both passenger and crew injuries have been reported.

Two Surveyors from the Agency's Southampton Marine Office have also been sent to the scene after it was reported that the vessel's bow doors have been significantly damaged.

The top deck has been cleared and passengers are being disembarked.No water has been taken in.

Investigations are on going to determine if there are any vehicles on board which may be leaking petrol or chemicals into the water column, and the MCA are co-ordinating their activities with company personnel.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.
 

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Something that I believe should be taken into consideration,is that passangers and the media tend to form a very rapid opinion as to the cause of this type of accident. It will take a day or two to get an accurate opinion. Colin
 

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Red funnel use a different prow arrangement than Wightlink, however, in my opinion, there are a couple of things that could have gone wrong. As Pompeyfan said, this is so familiar with the Captains, that I can't believe it was purely human error. The Red Funnel ships are similar to Wightlink C Class ships - whereby they have one engine either end. If the forward facing engine was to fail, through a problem - or, as is more likely in todays' winds, the old man pulling the sticks back too soon (thereby overspeeding the engine), the ship would not be able to effectively maneuvre into the 'jaws' of the linkspan.

The Red Funnel ships carry a Chief and Motorman ( I think ), same as Lymington. When I'm in Lymington, I am not engine room based, but the alarms ring in my cabin and the bridge - so I can always be in touch. When I have had an overspeed coming into Yarmouth, I have always managed to start the engine long before any problems could arise.
 

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traveled on that ferry a few times. my guess would be some kind of control failure. last time i rode on her it was hard to tell we had docked as the captain is so used to it. be interesting to hear the findings on this one.
 

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She is at the Windward Terminal according to Radio Solent, and all vehicles off. I have not heard that the ambulance was damaged, but you could see it through the bow doors. Ferries are now coming into 25 berth Eastern Docks I am told. David
 

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There was an accout on the Yahoo Ferries of Northern Europe group by Matthew Punter who was onboard at the time:


Hi all,

On Friday, I travelled to the Solent in order to catch PONT L'ABBE's first weekend in service and thought I'd pass the time during the day with lunch in Cowes courtesy of Red Funnel. As (bad) luck would have it, I opted to return on the 1455 from Cowes which ended with the crash at Town Quay.

As the vessel rounded the end of Town Quay, all seemed to be in order but it simply failed to slow down and as we lined up with the berth, it was obvious there was going to be a fairly hefty impact.

The ship slammed into the linkspan with an almighty crash sending passengers flying forward and shunting cars forward also.

This was of course whilst almost all passengers were milling around and descending to the car decks. Not in any hurry, I remained seated overlooking the Southampton end and could prepare for the impact.

For a few seconds, the atmosphere was one of anger that the captain "had been such an idiot", as if this was like parking a car, but as people moved around and realised there were injuries, I think it dawned on people that this was more than a rough berthing. One woman was lying on the floor - and remained there whilst I was on the accommodation deck. I heard of one person being flung down the staircase and saw one guy who'd broken his fingers.

On the upper car deck, passengers had moved to the Southampton end to inspect the damage. The ship had shunted the linkspan, bursting the doors; the hook on the front of the ship had torn through the linkspan. Red Falcon must have bounced back slightly as the linkspan was clear of the vessel and the seaward end appeared to have collapsed into the water. There was also damage to the hull sides and the car deck floor but (later inspection from the shore) didn't appear to reveal any other damage to the hull.

Immediately afterwards, the crew rushed to respond to those passengers hurt or distressed but there was no announcement for about 5 minutes. The passenger ramp was able to connect to the ship and I think foot passengers were disembarked fairly soon afterwards - probably within 20 minutes. It then took them another 10 mins or so to connect the upper car deck but these passengers could then leave - contact details were taken for all car passengers as they disembarked.

The emergency services were on the scene within around 5-10 minutes although it seemed to take quite a while before any injured passengers were disembarked. Certainly over 2 hours later there were still 3 ambulances on the quayside and these were joined by a fire enging and half a dozen police vehicles. The MCA were also on the scene by this stage.

 
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