Close-quarters situation between pilot vessel Hampshire and passenger hovercraft Freedom 90

Location: South of Gilkicker Point off the south coast of England.

Completed PE Summary: Hampshire and Freedom 90

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name   Freedom 90
Registered Owner & Manager:   Hovercraft Ltd
Flag:   UK
Type:   Passenger Ferry and Hover craft
Built:   1990
Length overall:   25.4
Gross tonnage:   102.00
Date & Time   08/02/05 08:52
Location of incident:   Portsmouth Harbour
Incident Type:   Hazardous Incident
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   None
Vessel name   Hampshire
Registered Owner & Manager:   ABP
Flag:   UK
Type:   Pilot boat
Built:   2004
Length overall:   14.63
Gross tonnage:   0.01
Date & Time   08/02/05 08:52
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   None


The pilot vessel Hampshire and the hovercraft Freedom 90 were involved in a close quarters situation south of Gilkicker Point in the Solent . The incident happened in restricted visibility, and was within QHM Portsmouth area of jurisdiction

Action taken:

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has made recommendations to Associated British Ports Southampton on the following:

  • Review operating procedures to ensure marine staff are aware of safe speed requirements, are familiar with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and are familiar with the radar equipment provided.

  • Review operating procedures to ensure marine staff understand the importance of maintaining a good VHF listening watch.

Recommendations were also made to QHM Portsmouth on the following:

  • Review procedures on VTS operator work load, to ensure operators can provide a comprehensive and accurate briefing to vessels requesting information.

  • Conduct an assessment for high speed passenger vessels which are not capable of being tracked by VTS radar, when operating at high speeds in areas of restricted visibility.

A recommendation was also made to Hovertravel Limited on the following:

  • As an interim measure before AIS is fitted, investigate methods of increasing radar cross sectional area to enlarge echo return for other vessels and VT

Published 23 January 2015