Collision between sailing yacht Bluebell of Warsash and an unidentified ship with 3 people injured

Location: 23 miles south of The Needles, Isle of Wight, England.

Accident Investigation Report 20/2000

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken, and recommendations:

bluebell of warsash.pdf (1,220.92 kb)


On 7 August 1999 yacht Bluebell of Warsash collided with an unidentified ship about 23 miles south of The Needles, Isle of Wight, England. Two of the four crew of the yacht were on deck keeping a navigation watch when the vessel was struck by a ship’s bulbous bow struck on the starboard side. One watchkeeper threw himself over the port side just before the impact. After recovering the man overboard, the yacht was able to make for The Needles and rendezvous with a RNLI lifeboat. Three crew were injured, two of which were airlifted to hospital. The yacht was towed to Yarmouth.

Despite a number of enquiries the ship involved in the collision has remained unidentified.

Safety issues

The causes of the accident were that the ship failed to take avoiding action in compliance with its obligation as a give-way vessel under the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea, and also that the two watchkeepers on the yacht did not appreciate the ship was on a collision course early enough to take effective avoiding action.


The MAIB has no safety recommendations to make at this time.

This report was published on 30 June 2000.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015