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Gareth

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  1. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Agreed.
  2. Gareth

    Brexit effect on BF

    Well, they’d have 7 days to think about it, so no doubt they’d be able to make a wise decision. Now....let’s leave Weymouth out of this...it’s of no relevance to anything any more! 😀
  3. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Not to mention the entrance and exit to the Thorn Channel, which involves large ships starting / finishing making their critical sharp 120 degree turns more or less right outside the entrance to Cowes harbour.
  4. Gareth

    Brexit effect on BF

    BF seems to have all but stopped sending Bretagne to Cherbourg in those circumstances. It would be interesting to see what they’d do if a strike is announced when the sailing is already under way - they probably would divert to Cherbourg then. But before departure they now tend to cancel the sailing rather than divert to Cherbourh in the event of a St Malo strike. BF really must be treading on eggshells when it comes to managing their industrial relations. Avoid anything that might aggrevate the situation. So, generally, Cherbourg only tends to get used these days, by the St Malo ship, as a bad-weather diversion port. BF knows that using it as a strike-breaking port would be asking for trouble.
  5. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Actually, another feature of Cowes that might be relevant is that it can be less obvious to small craft skippers where the entrance channel is and I can see that it could be quite easy to lose “positional awareness”. There is quite a big “pottering around” area in the entrance, most of which is navigable by small craft at most states of the tide, and only a small part of which consists of the entrance channel. If memory serves, that entrance channel is, itself, only marked by one or two pairs of (quite small) channel makers. So it is quite conceivable that small boats that are pottering around in that area could easily stray into the entrance channel without really realising where they are. Especially if carried into it by aforementioned cross tides. Contrast with Lymington and Portsmouth, where it is crystal clear where the deep water channel is in relation to you.
  6. Gareth

    Brexit effect on BF

    Ok, thanks Ed. I see where you’re coming from. But it’s an interesting definition of well-connected - I think you’re probably right about Roscoff as a niche route for traffic bound fairly locally. In the more mainstream ports, the local destinations theory is probably less relevant. After all, who crosses the channel specifically to visit the Calais area. St Malo may have a local element, but a lot of St Malo tourist traffic is probably bound for the west coast of France. Caen is, of course, the main shuttle port now, and Caen probably answers my question - in that it has probably replaced Cherbourg as the primary transit port and, in the process, has turned Cherbourg into more of a niche local port. A role it has struggled to justify?
  7. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Oh, I know Colin, I quite agree. Particularly, as you mentioned in a previous post, due to the strong cross-tide across the entrance. But that’s something that the Red Funnel skippers should be well used to dealing with. And, in absoulte terms, it is a rather wider entrance than Lymington. Similar amounts of traffic but at this time of year the traffic will be nothing compared with what they have to deal with in mid-summer.
  8. Gareth

    Brexit effect on BF

    Ed, I’d be interested in your reasoning behind Cherbourg being BF’s “least well road-connected port” in France. Surely Roscoff is more out-of-the-way for most traffic? Don’t forget, Cherbourg used to be the (to parody your description of Portsmouth) “Calais of the west”. There was a time when Cherbourg had more daily departures to the UK than, pretty much, all the other ports west of, and including, Dieppe put together. Mostly to Portsmouth, but with Poole, Weymouth and Southampton thrown in there. Why it has fallen so dramatically out of favour is a mystery.
  9. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    p.s. For all the grounding incidents reported in the thread, I am struggling to think of any examples of incidents involving WightLink ferries colliding with and sinking other vessels. Red Funnel seem to have had three incidents of collisions with small craft within a few weeks. And not even at a really busy time of year for small craft activity in the Solent. Sure, Cowes is a big yachting centre. But so is Lymington.
  10. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    I reckon Colin will have observed that the ferries are rather bigger now than in the 50s 😀 Have to say, the comparisons between the Raptors and the (whatever the collective name for the Lymington trio is) are a little bit meaningless. Sure, there are technical figures for absolute size. But in any meaningful sense, size is relative to context. The Lymington boats do look huge in the Lymington river. But they look tiny in Portsmouth harbour. And the Portsmouth vessels are themselves limited because they have to fit into Wootton Creek. Ferries designed for Southampton - Cowes are bound to be bigger, just by virtue of the ports they serve. I’m not quite sure what comparing a Raptor to Wight Light is supposed to demonstrate?
  11. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Captain and First Mate of Red Falcon have been suspended by Red Funnel.
  12. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Ah - ok. Thanks Rich. That would put things into a different context.
  13. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Well, we know that (a) one boat sank and (b) the RNLI reported no one in the water. It is reasonable to decuce from that that the boat that sank was not manned and that it, therefore, must have been anchored or moored. In those circumstances, unless (very unlikely) a yacht was anchored and left unattended in the main channel, this one cannot be pinned on errors by the yacht skippers.
  14. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    Well, the silence from them speaks volumes. To be fair, what can they say? For the second time in a couple of weeks, one of their masters has either lost control or lost navigational awareness on entering Cowes harbour. This time, with the effect of sinking another vessel. A port that Red Funnel has been sailing into, in all weathers, for about 5 decades without incident. Throughout all that time, the ferry traffic and the yachting traffic have coexisted without incident. And now, you’d have to say, if they cannot get their act together, their right to sail into Cowes must be at least compromised. It is only by luck that no one was hurt, or worse, in this incident. An incident that will attract serious interest from the MAIB. What is an official representative going to say on social media? All the legal advice will be to stay well away. Not least, because there are probably internal disciplinary procedures under way. Unless it is established that something went wrong with the vessel, this is a serious incident that could have significant implications for Red Funnel.
  15. Gareth

    (Yet) Another Red funnel crash

    One of the articles I’ve read about the incident seems to indicate that a yacht sank as a result of the collision.
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