21st October 2018
Cowes RNLI lifeboat, together with two RNLI lifeboats from Calshot, carried out a painstaking search of fog- bound Cowes Harbour this morning, after a Red Funnel car ferry was apparently in collision with a yacht before then going aground.
The search was prompted by HM Coastguard being told that cries for help had been heard.
The ferry, the Red Falcon, which had left Southampton at 7 am, had finished up aground towards the east bank of the harbour, after, Red Funnel stated, it was ‘in collision with several small yachts’.
Joining the three lifeboats in a search for possible people and wreckage in the water were a Southampton Harbour launch and various other craft – with coastguard rescue teams from Bembridge, Ventnor and the Needles maintaining a watch from both sides of the harbour shore.
Cowes lifeboat, which launched at 8.30 am, returned to station at 11.15, 15 minutes after the ferry had been re- floated with the help of Southampton tugs. The tugs then assisted the ferry to its terminal at East Cowes, where MCA surveyors were to make an assessment of the vessel.
Regarding those aboard the Red Falcon, the MCA stated: “All passengers remain safe and well, and will disembark when the vessel is safely alongside.”