Grounding of ro-ro passenger ferry Quiberon

Location: Pilot Shoal, Plymouth Sound, England.

Accident Investigation Report 16/2000

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

quiberon.pdf (855.13 kb)


On 17 March 1999 the ferry Quiberon rounded Drake’s Island in Plymouth Sound, England, when the master made a course alteration. The manoeuvre was misjudged and the vessel grounded on Pilot Shoal. The vessel was successfully refloated and returned to the berth at Mill Bay under its own power.

Safety Issues

The change in plan was neither communicated to the chief officer, who was also on the bridge, nor carefully considered. The passage to the west of the buoy, between it and dangerously shallow water, was, at best, only 80m wide. The master was navigating mainly by eye and the chief officer was not monitoring the vessel’s progress against a passage plan.


The investigation has highlighted shortfalls in the bridge team management and passage planning on board Quiberon and an appropriate recommendation is made to Brittany Ferries.

This report was published on 12 June 2000.

Published 23 January 2015