Failure of lifeboat suspension link on ro-ro passenger ferry Pride of Hampshire with 16 people injured

Location: Port of Cherbourg, France.

Accident Investigation Report: Pride of Hampshire

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



The ro-ro passenger ferry Pride of Hampshire was berthed at Cherbourg on the morning of 25 September 1994 when No 2 lifeboat launching equipment failed whilst the crew were undergoing lifeboat drill. The lifeboat fell, pitching six of the 32 occupants into the water. All were accounted for, but 16 persons were taken to hospital. The cause of the accident was due to breakage of the lifeboat suspension link joining the aft lifeboat hook to the suspension chain of the fall block.

Safety Issues

Examination of the damaged davit structure found that welded joints, crucial to the integrity of the structure, were of inferior quality with incomplete penetration and lack of fusion. These welds rendered the davits unsafe, although they did not contribute to the accident.


Recommendations have been made to the Marine Safety Agency and P&O Ferries.

This report was published on 19 September 1996.

Published 23 January 2015