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UPDATED: RED FUNNEL CAPTAIN IN COURT OVER SOLENT CRASH

Red Falcon

Photo: Needles Coastguard Rescue Team

Ian Drummond, an experienced Red Funnel captain, has appeared in court accused of 2 offences following a crash involving the ‘Red Falcon’ ferry and a motor cruiser off Calshot last year.

As previously reported by Island Echo, the Isle of Wight car ferry was involved in a collision with the 32ft vessel ‘Phoenix’ whilst en-route to East Cowes. The collision between the 2 vessels saw Phoenix pinned against the ferry’s bow for some 18 seconds resulting in serious damage to the motor cruiser. The incident nearly resulted in the capsizing of the smaller boat, which was eventually led to the safety of Cowes Harbour.

The Red Falcon was carrying 20 crew and 182 passengers at the time of the crash and the motor cruiser had 4 persons on board.

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The incident took place in September 2018 and led to a Maritime Accident Investigation Branch report being published in March of this year.

62-year-old Ian Drummond appeared at Southampton Magistrates Court for the start of a trial yesterday (Monday) facing 2 charges; misconduct of master likely to endanger ships, structures or individuals, and being the master responsible for conduct of a vessel contravening the Merchant Shipping Regulations.

Red Falcon and Phoenix collision at 1635.41 / Photo: MAIB

In court, Mr Drummond said that extra lookouts are now needed on the Raptor-class ferries following modifications made 5 years ago, but requests for this have allegedly been ignored. He said that he doesn’t understand how Phoenix got where it was – he never saw a thing. Mr Drummond also told the court that he has sailed the Solent his entire life and that he is used to checking.

A statement is due to be issued by Red Funnel following the conclusion of the trial.

Ian Drummond denies the charges against him.

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UPDATE THURSDAY – The case against Mr Drummond has been adjourned until December for written submissions and the judge to consider his verdict.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

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Darren Street
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Darren Street

Absolutely shocking that this has gone to court, this poor man…it appears that the judicial system targets easy people yet Thieves, Drug Addicts and Sex Offenders are all treated with cotton wool before they are hauled in front of a judge

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