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Red Funnel Ferry collision: Poor Crisis Communication

Yesterday a Red Funnel Ferry hit several moored yachts and ran aground just off Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Fortunately nobody was hurt as a result of the collision, which happened in thick fog.

A sunken yacht with her mast poking out of the water was confirmed by the coastguard as having been hit by the ferry.

Red Funnel CEO Fran Collins made this statement:

‘Red Falcon, the ferry involved in the grounding incident in East Cowes this morning in dense fog has now been refloated and is safely alongside. Passengers and vehicles are currently being discharged at East Cowes. This ship will now be subject to a detailed inspection and is not expected to return to service today. A revised vehicle ferry timetable will operate between Southampton and East Cowes. Our staff are contacting customers booked to travel today to offer them alternative sailings. On behalf of Red Funnel, I would like to apologise to all passengers who have been disrupted by this incident, and emphasise that we give the safety of our passengers and crew the highest priority.’

Perhaps in her message Ms Collins could have expressed some sympathy for those people whose yachts were sunk and whose lives could very well have been put in extreme danger as a result of the collision. In an accident such as this it’s not just a firm’s customers that count but the wider public caught up in what could have been a major incident.