As previously reported by Island Echo, 2 RNLI lifeboats were launched at 07:00 this morning to reports of a vessel being hit by a ‘fast ferry’. However, as the morning has progressed it has become clear that in fact Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry was the vessel involved in the collision.
Cowes RNLI have confirmed that the Red Funnel ferry ploughed through the moorings of a catamaran and several Daring Class yachts, sending several of the Darings adrift.
2 of the vessels were recovered just outside Cowes Harbour, 1 by a Cowes Harbour launch and the other by the lifeboat. The lifeboat also went on to find that a 30ft catamaran had been pushed from its mooring on to another Daring, which ended up hard against the catamaran’s stern.
A post that indicates the small vessel channel in the harbour has also been hit.
The incident occurred on the 05:30 sailing from East Cowes to Southampton. The sailing arrived at the mainland terminal around 30 minutes later than scheduled.
A spokesperson for Red Funnel has said:
“We have initiated a detailed investigation into a contact/close quarters situation involving Red Eagle in Cowes Harbour this morning which occurred in thick fog.
“There are no reported injuries and Red Eagle is currently alongside in Southampton whilst we undertake the preliminary stage of the investigation.
“All relevant authorities have been informed and it is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.
“The safety of passengers, crew and other marine users is Red Funnel’s highest priority and this incident will be fully investigated.”
UPDATE @ 12:07 – Red Funnel have cancelled the 13:00 sailing from Southampton and the 14:30 sailing from East Cowes due to the ongoing investigation works.
Earlier today tehe 10:00 and 11:30 sailings were also cancelled.
UPDATE @ 13:58 – Further cancellations have been made by Red Funnel this afternoon including the 16:00 from Southampton and the 17:30 from East Cowes.
The 19:15 sailing from Southampton and the 21:00 from East Cowes have also been pulled.