Red Funnel service returns to normal after Red Falcon runs aground

Red Funnel’s cross-Solent service is running as normal on Monday morning (October 22) after a major incident with a car ferry.

The Red Falcon ran aground in “thick fog” on Sunday morning (October 21) at around 7am.

The ship is now docked in Southampton while an investigation and detailed inspection is carried out, according to the ferry company’s CEO Fran Collins.

The vessel came into contact with several small yachts and Cowes Harbour was closed to all traffic during the incident while it was refloated.

There are no reports of any injuries to anyone who was involved in the incident.

Red Falcon in the fog – photo by Joy Scutchings

A spokesman for Red Funnel said shortly after the incident: “The 7am vehicle ferry sailing from Southampton to East Cowes came into contact with several small yachts whilst entering Cowes Harbour at 8am on Sunday morning (October 21) in dense fog, the ship (Red Falcon) is currently aground but is watertight and no injuries have been sustained to any of the 40 passengers on-board.”

Fran Collins, Red Funnel’s CEO, said on Sunday afternoon: “Red Falcon, the ferry involved in the grounding incident in East Cowes this morning [Sunday] in dense fog has now been refloated and is safely alongside.

“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.

“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.”

Were you aboard the Red Falcon? Did you see the ship run aground? Get in touch with your stories and pictures at or call the news desk on 01983 216 111.