Close-quarters situation between passenger cruise vessel Queen Elizabeth 2 and ro-ro passenger ferry Pride of Kent

Location: Dover Strait off the south east coast of England.

Completed PE Summary: Queen Elizabeth 2/Pride of Kent

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name:   Queen Elizabeth 2
Manager:   Carnival plc trading as Cunard Line
Ship Owner:   Carnival plc
Port of Registry:   Southampton
Flag:   United Kingdom
Classification Society:   Lloyds Register
Type:   Passenger
Built:   1969
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   293.52m
Gross tonnage:   70,327
Date & Time:   2159 UTC 15 December 2007
Location of incident:   Dover Strait
Incident Type:   Hazardous Incident
Persons onboard:   1822 Passengers 1011 Crew
Injuries/fatalities:   None
Damage/pollution:   None
Vessel name:   Pride of Kent
Manager:   P&O Ferries Ship Management
Ship Owner:   P&O
Port of Registry:   Dover
Flag:   United Kingdom
Classification Society:   Lloyds Register
Type:   Passenger ferry
Built:   1992
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   179.7m
Gross tonnage:   30,635
Date & Time:   2159 UTC 15 December 2007
Location of incident:   Dover Strait
Incident Type:   Hazardous Incident
Persons onboard:   704 Passengers 103 Crew
Injuries/fatalities:   None
Damage/pollution:   None

Synopsis

At 2200 UTC on 15 December 2007 in light winds and good visibility a close quarters situation occurred between Queen Elizabeth 2 and Pride of Kent.

Queen Elizabeth 2, on passage from Zeebrugge to Southampton, was south west bound in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. Her track was biased to the starboard side of the traffic lane. Pride of Kent departed Dover for a scheduled voyage to Calais, observing the voluntary separation scheme established for ferry operators. As the vessels approached, a close quarters situation developed in which Queen Elizabeth 2 was required to give way.

When it became apparent that no avoiding action was being taken by Queen Elizabeth 2, Pride of Kent reduced her speed allowing Queen Elizabeth 2 to pass 0.6mile ahead of Pride of Kent.

There were no injuries to personnel and no pollution.

Action taken

Following the accident, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has considered the actions taken by both the companies and is satisfied with the steps they have taken to prevent future accidents.

Cunard Line will:

  • Send a letter to the fleet that describes the incident, identifies lessons learnt and provides actions to prevent future recurrence.

  • Provide further development of company specific Bridge Resource Management training.

  • Implement their recently rewritten, and currently trialled, Bridge Resource Management Procedures.

P&O Ferries will:

  • Carry out an internal investigation that will result in a review of bridge procedures throughout the fleet and identify actions to avoid similar situations in the future.

Published: March 2008


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