Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Lifeboats search waters off Isle of Wight after ferry collides with yachts

Lifeboats search waters off Isle of Wight after ferry collides with yachts

The vessel, named Red Falcon, hit the boats after travelling through a thick fog at 8am on Sunday, said ferry company Red Funnel.

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after the Red Funnel vehicle ferry, the Red Falcon, hit moored yachts, ran aground and prompted a search and rescue mission.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said around the same time they had received a 999 call from a member of the public reporting they had heard cries for help within the harbour.

When it came to a stop just a hundred yards from East Cowes Esplanade, the Red Falcon was way off its usual docking route.

A Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was also involved but due to the weather it had to turn back.

The company said there were no reports of any injuries to anyone involved in the incident.

Three local lifeboats from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are at the scene.

The person is now safe and well, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

"If this proves unsuccessful, a further attempt will be made at the next high tide", the spokesperson said.

Ferry services out of the Isle of Wight port are heavily affected.

'We are now carrying at an extensive search of the area with Cowes RNLI lifeboat, Calshot RNLI lifeboats and Coastguard Rescue Teams from Bembridge, Needles and Ventnor. More than 50 people were on the ferry at the time of the collision.

Cowes Harbour is now closed to traffic.

Images posted on Twitter appeared to show the mast of a sunken boat sticking out from the water with a Red Funnel ferry in the background.

All people onboard are reported "safe and well".

Last month, the Red Funnel's "Red Eagle" was reported to have ploughed through moorings in Cowes Harbour, cutting several boats adrift into the Solent, and damaging a signpost. The East Cowes to Southampton service is expected to be delayed by at least three hours.

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