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Old 28 March 2011, 06:08   #1
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High speed ferry collision south of Jersey

Had my marine vhf receiver on at work at 7.30 this morning, listening to the CG weather forecast, when it got interrupted by a mayday from Condor Vitesse. She reported colliding with a fishing vessel just to the east of the Minquers reef while on passage from St. Malo to Jersey.

Persons were reported in the water and the only other vessel in the area was another fishing boat that was 30 mins away. So I jumped in the car and headed for my boat in case I could help but after sitting in the rush hour traffic for ages, the Vitesse's tender had picked up 2 persons and the fishing boat had the third.

I started making my way down to the casualty anyway with viz at about 1mile but half way there with about 7 or 8 miles to run I hit a bank of thick fog where viz was 20metres so rather than become another casualty I headed back to the harbour.

The 3rd person was in the water for quite a while, maybe half hour, sounds like he's in a bad way. There was a french helicopter on scene to lift him to hospital but the weather made that impossible so St Helier lifeboat brought him back to Jersey, arriving 45 mins ago. Condor Vitesse just arriving in St. Helier now.

Cue large amounts of paper work...
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Old 28 March 2011, 06:45   #2
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Last I heard viz was down to 15m!

I believe none of the fishermen had lifejackets on, a lesson here perhaps - in fog things can get bad with no warning at all.
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Old 28 March 2011, 06:57   #3
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Cue an MCA and MAIB inspection then cue an incredible amount of paperwork...
I would make a bet and guess she was still at full speed of at least 35+ Knts! Even if the Viz was decreasing or poor.
Hopefully I will be proven wrong.

Same thing on the Solent with the RedJets not decreasing speed in fog.

Simon
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:00   #4
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Good luck trying to get a fisherman to wear a lifejacket!

Interested to know what the Vitesse crew were looking at if they weren't looking at their radar. Saying that, it may have been quite a small vessel, I get the impression they weren't even aware they'd hit anything until they were notified by a passenger on the aft deck
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:15   #5
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She (along with the Express) is fitted with 'high speed' 10cm radar. This has a much faster emit/receive rate than a standard 10cm set. It's also more sensitive. (but not 100% infallible admittedly)
The company as a whole put too much pressure on the bridge team to maintain the schedule... That's where it falls down.
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:27   #6
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Quote:
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too much pressure on the bridge team to maintain the schedule
36.5 knots in 20m viz is taking the p!ss no matter how good your radar is
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:30   #7
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Quote:
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Good luck trying to get a fisherman to wear a lifejacket!
An interesting lesson for us powerboaters!

And I wasn't specifically talking about lifejackets.
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:40   #8
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An interesting lesson for us powerboaters!

And I wasn't specifically talking about lifejackets.
You might have to get a price on a garmin radar
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:47   #9
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You might have to get a price on a garmin radar


Was your FLIR any good in the soup this morning?
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Old 28 March 2011, 07:49   #10
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I didn't try it but the range is too short really to be much use in collision avoidance
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