Collision between ro-ro passenger ferry Red Eagle and coastal tanker Humber Energy

Location: Near the West Bramble buoy off the south coast of England.

Completed PE Summary: Humber Energy/Red Eagle

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel 1/Accident Details
Vessel Name Red Eagle
Registered Owner and Manager Red Funnel
Port of Registry Southampton
Flag UK
Type Ro-ro cargo passenger ferry
Built 1996
Classification Society None
Construction Steel
Length Overall 93.22m
Gross Tonnage 4075
Date/Time 21/12/06, 1921
Location of Incident Coastal waters
Incident Type Collision
Persons Onboard 173
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Minor damage
Merchant Vessel 2/Accident Details
Vessel Name Humber Energy
Registered Owner and Manager John H Whitaker (Tankers) Ltd
Port of Registry Hull
Flag UK
Type Coastal tanker
Built 1983
Classification Society Bureau Veritas
Length Overall 60.75m
Gross Tonnage 380.26
Persons Onboard 3
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Minor damage


At 1921 UTC the Red Eagle was involved in a collision in fog with the coastal tanker Humber Energy. The collision took place in the central Solent in the Western Approach to the Thorn Channel, close to the West Bramble buoy in very poor visibility.

As a result of the collision the ferry suffered minor damage to her hull above the water line and there was paint damage and slight indentation to the bow of the tanker.

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.

Red Funnel Group;

  • Is in the process of reviewing its safety management system with emphasis on navigation in restricted visibility and importance of safe speed particularly in fog.

  • Has reviewed its standard passage plans and issued a fleet letter with further guidance.

  • Has identified further training needs for bridge teams to improve blind pilotage techniques.

J H Whitaker (Tanker) Ltd ;

  • Has reviewed its safety management system with emphasis on visibility criteria for sailing and the importance of safe speed particularly in fog.

  • Has published a fleet safety bulletin to highlight the causes of this accident and the lessons learnt.

  • Will provide further training to the bridge team in Bridge Team Management techniques including blind pilotage.

  • Intends to fit an AIS unit and to compass stabilize both radars on the Humber Energy.

Published 23 January 2015