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Health and safety

Report into ferry near miss highlights bridge communication issues

24 March 2023

A report into a 'close quarter incident' involving two passenger ferries in March 2022 has flagged issues with bridge communication, as well as port control training.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board’s (MCIB) investigation into the incident in Rosslare Harbour, County Wexford, said that based on conflicting statements from the bridge crew of the ferry Connemara it was evident that 'communication among the bridge team was extremely poor'.

The incident occurred when the Connemara ignored instructions from port control and proceeded into port while another vessel was exiting. The second ferry, Stena Europe, met Connemara just outside the breakwater and both vessels had to take action to avoid collision. The MCIB also stated that both vessels failed to take appropriate action prior to the close quarters incident to alter their course or speed, even when there was the option to do so.

In light of the incident the MCIB has recommended an investigation by Stena into why the bridge crew of Connemara failed to follow advice given, and asked the company to perform an audit of its system of training for new masters.

It also highlighted potential issues with the training of port controllers at Rosslare port, which at the time of the incident was not up to international standards.