Marine Accident Investigation Branch
Our accident investigation report into the ferry Red Falcon colliding with a moored yacht on 21 October 2018 resulting in the yacht sinking, is now published.
The report contains details of what happened, the subsequent actions taken and recommendations made: read more.
Statement from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents
Our investigation highlighted how quickly restricted visibility can negatively affect individuals awareness and orientation, which increases their stress and impacts on decision making. Crews on vessels of any size can be affected, but the consequences can be mitigated by prior preparation and training, effective teamwork, and a full understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the available instrumentation.
As a result of our investigation, Red Funnel has introduced measures to address many of the shortcomings identified in the report, but two recommendations have been made to the company aimed at further improving their operational practices.
It was very fortunate that nobody was on board yacht Greylag when it was struck and overrun by Red Falcon. In this respect, the family on a yacht on a nearby swinging mooring had a lucky escape. When Red Falcon swung around it narrowly missed Cowes Yacht Haven marina wall, and had yachts been rafted there the consequences of this accident could also have been much more severe. Our investigation has highlighted that commercial vessels can pose a danger to people sleeping on yachts in some areas of Cowes Harbour, and recommendations have been made to Cowes Harbour Commissioners and Cowes Yacht Haven to review their risk assessments.
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