An investigation has been launched by Dover port authorities after a ferry bound for Dunkirk, France, smashed into a harbour wall.
Passengers and crew were evacuated from the Dover Seaways ship following the collision, which happened at 8am on November 9, while four people had to be rushed to hospital with their injuries.
It is likely that the Marine Accident Investigation Branch will also look into the incident and how it happened.
According to Port of Dover officials, sea conditions in the English Channel were slight to moderate and visibility was good prior to the ferry leaving the harbour.
In the aftermath of the collision, some of the ship’s 320 passengers posted pictures of the chaos on Twitter and Facebook, with chairs and shop stock strewn across interior decks.
One passenger reported seeing a disabled woman get knocked unconscious while some even went so far as to compare the incident to the sinking of the Titanic.
One couple, Keith and Silvia Etherton, told how they were flung across the deck just minutes into the journey.
They said they had been on their way to see friends in Germany, but had to wait for half an hour to disembark following the ferry accident.
They have since taken another ferry from Dover to Calais to continue their holiday.
Ambulance on scene
Paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service attended the scene just 15 minutes after the collision, with some passengers being treated for bumps and bruises.
And four passengers were taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, as a precautionary measure.
A spokeswoman from Port of Dover said it had worked with Dover Seaways to quickly put emergency procedures into place immediately after the collision.
DFDS said passengers who wished to continue their journey had been accommodated on other DFDS Seaways ferries.
The ship is now being inspected for damage but a spokeswoman said it was too soon to say whether any serious damage had been caused and when the ferry would be returned to service again.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline
If you have been hurt in an accident at sea that wasn’t your fault, you could potentially make a compensation claim to cover the cost of things like medical bills, loss of earnings and emotional pain and suffering.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 to see how our team of expert lawyers could help you.
Date Published: November 11, 2014
Author: David Brown