After Crash, Ferry Service Restored

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Red Funnel's East Cowes - Southampton service was back to normal on March 14, after its Red Falcon car ferry crashed into the mainland dock on March 10, injuring nine people. The company announced its normal two-boat service for the time of year had been restored, although it was operating from a different berth. Until repairs can be made to the damaged linkspan, Red Funnel expects to be running the car ferry service from 25 berth, accessible through dock gate four at Southampton's Eastern Docks. The Hi-Speed service between Cowes and Southampton is unaffected and operating normally. Meanwhile, the master and mate of Red Falcon have been suspended. The suspensions are standard procedure pending the outcome of a Marine Accident Investigation Board inquiry, which swung into action following the accident at around 4pm, which caused major disruption to services. This week the company is counting the cost of the accident, which saw services reduced by 45 percent. The route's third ferry, Red Eagle, had to be re-called from a re-fit to be put back into service to restore the timetable to normal. The incident happened when the 2.55pm ferry from East Cowes was docking at Southampton and failed to stop. It hit the linkspan causing damage to the bow of the boat, as well as the dock area. (Source: Isle of Wright County Press)
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