Contact made by high speed passenger craft Norman Arrow with fendering and with mooring dolphin

Locations: Fendering while moving berth at Portsmouth, England. Dolphin while approaching berth at Le Havre, France.

Accident Investigation Report 7/2011

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

NormanArrowReport.pdf (1,071.31 kb)


On 31 March 2010, the UK registered high speed ferry Norman Arrow was damaged when she struck fixed fendering in Portsmouth International Port while attempting to move between berths. Five months later, on 29 August, Norman Arrow was again damaged when she struck a mooring dolphin as she approached her berth in Le Havre, France. There were no injuries, but after both accidents the vessel had to be taken out of service and repaired in dry dock.

Safety Issues

  • the lack of operational procedures for manoeuvring in port with respect to limiting wind speed and relative direction, and the use of tugs
  • the vessel’s design restricted the ability of personnel on the bridge to see objects near to the vessel
  • poor bridge ergonomics
  • ineffective bridge team management and use of equipment
  • the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s difficulty in assessing whether the visibility from Norman Arrow’s manoeuvring station met the requirements of the High Speed Craft Code


As a result of recommendations made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Louis Dreyfus Lines, and Portsmouth International Port made after the first accident, which were aimed at improving the vessel’s safe operation, particularly in port and the actions identified by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s formal investigation undertaken following Norman Arrow’s accident in Le Havre, no further recommendations are made in this report.

This report was published on 19 May 2011.

Published 23 January 2015