RoRo on Solent hit pleasure boat because Captain failed to keep proper lookout, court told

Passenger/cargo RoRo Red Falcon (IMO 9064047) struck a small pleasure boat that had four people on board on September 29th 2018, because its captain failed to keep a proper lookout, a court was told on November 18th. The incident occurred as the Red Falcon was crossing the Solent from Southampton to the Isle of Wight.

Captain Ian Drummond is alleged to have remained in his chair as the ferry struck the 10-metre motor cruiser, almost forcing it to capsize.

Drummond, 62, remained completely unaware that the Red Falcon had hit the small boat, the city’s magistrates were told.

One of the four people on board the cruiser, Julie Jackson, said she was thrown across the vessel by the impact. Along with her husband Peter and two other passengers, she scrambled to put on a life jacket while water began to engulf the vessel.

Another passenger, Deborah Baxter said: “I heard a loud crashing noise and glass smashing behind me and I could feel a shower of glass pieces hitting me on my back and shoulder area. I could see a wall of red. I could not believe it. The ferry had carried on without stopping.”

Prosecutors allege that Drummond would have spotted the yacht in front of the ferry if he had ordered a simple lookout. He is also alleged to have failed to view CCTV immediately in front of him.

Drummond denies 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.

1994-built, UK-flagged, 4,128 gt Red Falcon is owned and managed by Red Funnel Group of Southampton, UK. It is entered with Shipowners’ Club.