Condor Ferries 'knows it has to improve the situation'

Guernsey's External Transport Group has met with Condor Ferries executives. The Group says it's confident the Condor Liberation is safe, but improvements need to be made.

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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

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