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Cross channel ferry service cancelled because of weather

Condor Ferries has cancelled tomorrow's (2 June 2015) services between the UK and the Channel Islands.

The company says it's because of the current weather forecast, and has apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Cancelled services:

  • 11:30 Poole to Guernsey
  • 15:00 Guernsey to Jersey
  • 17:00 Jersey to Guernsey
  • 18:30 Guernsey to Poole

Suitability review for Condor Liberation

The Condor Liberation. Credit: ITV News

Condor Ferries has announced a review into the "suitability" and "performance" of the Condor Liberation.

It's been commissioned by the company and the States of Guernsey and States of Jersey.

I hope that this report will help us to draw a line under ill-informed speculation about the ship which is not only damaging Condor Ferries’ business, but could potentially impact our Islands’ reputation.

Condor Ferries provides an important service for our Islands and, despite the difficult start experienced by Condor Liberation, continues to support the islands through its freight and passenger services.”

– Senator Farnham

Whilst we know that our punctuality and reliability performance needs to improve, we also want to give our customers every necessary reassurance regarding the suitability of our ship, and so are pleased to be working with the States of Guernsey and Jersey in commissioning this independent report.”

– Russell Kew, Condor Ferries

The reviewers will be announced in early June.


Condor harbour crash caused by high winds

Condor Liberation's crash into Guernsey's Harbour in March was down to being buffeted by strong winds, a new report has found.

On only its second day of service in the islands, the £50million new ferry crashed into the No. 1 berth in St Peter Port and was out of action for more than a week.

Released this morning, the report from Condor's internal investigation described how on arrival at St Peter Port, the crew tried to land against berth 2, but had to reassess due to the weather.

They then tried to dock on berth 1, using an automatic setting but when the wind picked up, the ship landed heavily on the steel piling on the dock.

The report says that although all the staff on-board were adequately trained and the weather conditions were expected, instead of using the 'auto' setting to manoeuvre the ship, the crew might have been better doing it manually.

“We are pleased to have completed this detailed investigation with the Guernsey Harbour Master. The joint findings confirm that the crew on board were highly experienced; they have been with the ship since her acquisition last year. An appropriate assessment of the expected conditions was completed by the Masters and Operations team before the ship sailed - Condor Liberation was at all times operating within safe limits."

– Captain Fran Collins, Executive Director - Operations at Condor Ferries

The report also stated that the fendering on some of the berths in the Channel Island, French and UK Ports aren't suitable for high speed craft like the Liberation.

Some are constructed of steel piles, supported by limited rubber mounts. The surface area presented for the ship to land on is minimal on many of these piles, and the degree of load absorption offered is often very low.

"We will work with the ports to improve fendering and the continual assessment of the ship’s manoeuvering system to identify and implement fine tuning to optimise manoeuverability.”

– Captain Fran Collins, Executive Director - Operations at Condor Ferries

Inside the Condor Liberation

The public had the chance to see inside.

The Condor Liberation has been opened to the public for the first time.

Here are some pictures of the high-speed ferry's interior:

Control panel.
The public had the chance to explore the ferry.
The Island Bar.
Inside the ship.
The ferry will begin operating soon.

From the end of March, the ferry will begin transporting people from the Channel Islands to the UK.

And the Executive Director for Operations says it's a landmark moment for the Channel Islands:


Condor ferry crew could face harsher sentences

The remains of the boat hit by the Condor ferry

The crew of a Condor ferry which struck and killed a French fishermen in 2011 could face harsher penalties today.

In October, 58-year-old Captain Paul Le Romancer and First Officer Yves Tournon who is 48, were convicted of the manslaughter of Philippe Lesaulnier and given suspended sentences of 18 months and 12 months respectively.

Today, prosecutors will appeal those sentences, arguing that they should be longer. If the appeal to a court in Caen is accepted, the case will move to a higher court in Paris.

Condor fisherman inquest: Drowned and crushed

The inquest into the death of a French fisherman who was killed after a Condor ferry ploughed into his fishing boat has found he died of drowning and severe upper body wounds.

42-year-old Philippe Le Saulnier was killed back in March 2011 when the Condor Vitesse collided with his boat and split it in two.

Both the Master and the Chief Officer of the ferry have since been sentenced for manslaughter in France.

Condor Ferries boss quits

The boss of Condor Ferries has quit.

James Fulford made the surprise announcement this morning.

He's been in the job since last January - a time which has coincided with a run of difficult issues for the company including a strike by its French workers.

Mr Fulford, in a message to staff, has characterised his tenure as a time of turn-around for the company, including last month's announcement that the firm has bought a new passenger and vehicle ferry, the Austal 102, which will come into service next spring.

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