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  1. ITV Report

Red Funnel ordered to make changes after vessel swung out of control and crashed into yacht

A Red Funnel ferry crashed into a yacht in Cowes Harbour after the captain became disoriented in dense fog and the vessel swung out of control.

The crash happened in October 2018 and left passengers stranded. A report by the Marine Accident Investigations Branch has ordered Red Funnel to make changes to operations to avoid the risk of future collisions.

  • Watch Kerry Swain's report below:

This is the moment of collision, captured by onboard closed-circuit television.

The captain got disorientated and ended u driving the ferry backwards through yachts and ran over Greylag which then sunk.

This is the moment of collision, captured by onboard closed-circuit television.

To the left in this photograph below, you can see the mast of the submerged yacht.

Mast of the submerged yacht poking out of the water.

No one was onboard and none of the passengers or crew on the Red Falcon passenger ferry were hurt. However, on another yacht only 100 meters away a family of five were sleeping.

So it was incredibly lucky that the Red Falcon didn't hit that family instead...it's likely that they would have drowned.

– Captain Jae Jones, Marine Accident Investigations Branch

Thick fog closed around the Red Falcon as it entered Cowes Harbour in October 2018. With no visibility the crew had to steer by digital compass but they lacked practice in using instruments alone.

The master became confused, suffering cognitive overload due to high stress. He failed to realise the ferry had turned around completely and drove in wrong direction, hitting the yacht and running aground.

Thick fog closed around the Red Falcon as it entered Cowes Harbour in October 2018.

The ferry can be operated from either end so it doesn't have to turn around between Cowes and Southampton.

Among safety recommendations from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch are a review electronic displays showing which way the vessel is pointing and better staff training.

  • Captain Jae Jones- Marine Accident Investigations Branch

Red Funnel say they have learned from the incident and staff training and operational procedures have already been strengthened.

The crew involved continue to work as valued members of the team.