Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

4 recovering after ferry accident

A Wightlink ferry on its way to Fishbourne
A Wightlink ferry on its way to Fishbourne

Four people who were being treated in hospital after the upper deck of a car ferry collapsed have now been discharged.

Three passengers and one crew member were injured in the incident on the Wightlink Ferries vessel St Helen at the Fishbourne terminal on the Isle of Wight.

As passengers disembarked just before 10.30pm yesterday , the forward mezzanine deck on the starboard side of the ferry, which had nine cars on it, collapsed on to the deck beneath as it was being lowered.

Vehicles on the lower deck had already left the ferry.

The ferry had set sail from Portsmouth at 9.30pm with 181 passengers and 11 crew on board.

A spokesman for the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service said the casualties were treated for "a variety of injuries" and all were "conscious and breathing" when they were taken from the scene to St Mary's Hospital.

Wightlink said today that all four have now been discharged.

The company said it carried out full safety checks on its other ferries overnight, with engineers inspecting and testing the mezzanine decks before returning the ships to service - but the St Helen remains out of service.

A full investigation is under way and the incident has been reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Wightlink said it will be co-operating with the MAIB and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency investigations.

A spokesman said: "While those investigations are under way, Wightlink will not be making further comment on the possible cause of the incident.

"St Helen, in common with all Wightlink ferries, is inspected regularly by external surveyors. The last independent engineering survey of the ship, including its mezzanine decks, took place in May 2014 following her annual maintenance and refit."

Wightlink said that, with the St Helen being out of service, passengers should expect minor delays on the daytime routes from Portsmouth Gunwharf and from Fishbourne.


From Belfast Telegraph