Red Funnel captain on Trial after ploughing into 32ft Motor Cruising in the Solent

red funnel captain on trial after ploughing into 32ft motor cruising in the solent

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

The master was in charge of the Isle of Wight car ferry that 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.

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 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.

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.