In the wake of a fatal collision on Southampton Water, the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch is warning high-speed tourboat operators to heed their industry’s voluntary code of conduct and ensure the safety of their passengers.
On August 22, tour boat operator Seadogz Rib Charter Ltd. dispatched the rigid inflatable Seadogz on a routine commercial tour. The boat departed the Ocean Village Marina at about 0945 that morning with 11 passengers on board.
After performing a series of high-speed figure-eights around navigational buoys in the harbor, the skipper headed back up the channel in order to tail an outbound ferry, passing back and forth to jump the larger vessel’s wake. Exiting one of these maneuvers at a speed of about 38 knots, the skipper navigated the RIB into the North-West Netley buoy, a five-tonne steel marker measuring about ten feet in diameter by 15 feet high.
Upon impact, the bow of the boat was tossed upward and all on board were thrown violently forward by the rapid deceleration. Everyone on board (save for one passenger) sustained injuries, including broken limbs, fractured vertebrae, dislocations and a punctured lung. Emily Lewis, a 15-year-old passenger who was sitting just forward of the pilot house, was fatally injured.
The boat itself sustained extensive damage. The forward three sections of the buoyancy tubes on Seadogz’s port side were punctured and the bow of its fiberglass hull was severely damaged. Several of the steel framed seatbacks were bent forward by the force of passengers hitting them.
Based on the initial investigation, the casualty likely occurred because the skipper was concentrating on high speed maneuvers near to the ferry and did not see the buoy in time to avoid it. Though his passengers could have warned him of the hazard, they had become used to traveling close to buoys at speed during the ride; they did not consider the collision course to be a sign of danger and did not alert the skipper.
According to MAIB, few of the safe working practices in the UK’s high-speed ride industry code of practice were being followed on the casualty voyage. In particular:
• High speed figure-of-eight turns increase the risk of the RIB hooking or spinning-out.
• The skipper was operating single-handedly at high speed and did not see the navigation buoy, which was directly ahead, for 10 seconds before impact.
• Crossing the ferry’s wake at high speed increased both the risk of the passengers suffering spinal injuries and of the RIB coming close to a craft or object previously obscured from view by the ferry’s hull, leaving the skipper little time in which to react.
Though Seadogz Rib Charter Ltd. has ceased operations, the practices on display during the casualty voyage are not uncommon in the industry, MAIB said.
“These rides can provide excitement, entertainment and fun, and for this reason they are popular. However, this dreadful accident saw nine people sustain very serious injuries and tragically cost the life of a young person. As the holiday season approaches, I want to remind operators that they also have a duty of care for their passengers, and safety should not be compromised in pursuit of a thrill,” said MAIB Chief Inspector Captain Andrew Moll (RN).
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]