Securing arrangment failure and drifting of Dartmouth-Kingswear cable ferry resulting in contact with moored vessels

Location: Dartmouth, River Dart, England.

Completed PE Summary: Dartmouth-Kingswear ferry

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Type Cable ferry
Date 13/02/05
Location of Incident Between Dartmouth and Kingswear
Persons Onboard 35 passengers 2 crew
Injuries/Fatalities None


The Dartmouth-Kingswear cable ferry departed Dartmouth for her regular 4 minute crossing to Kingwear at about 1130 on the morning of Sunday the 13 February with 35 passengers, 15 cars and 2 crew on board. About mid river, the vessel was hit by an unusually strong gust of wind and both cables were pulled from their securing arrangement on the Dartmouth side. The vessel drifted down stream making contact with a number of moored boats before being brought to a standstill by its anchors.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents wrote to the Dartmouth-Kingswear Floating Bridge Company Ltd., supporting their proactive approach to safety management and making two recommendations regarding the method used to secure the cables on the river banks and the deployment of the anchors.


Published 23 January 2015