Yacht owner tells of horror collision with Red Funnel ferry

A yacht owner has spoken of how he, his wife and two passengers had almost been killed when their vessel collided with a 4,000-tonne Red Funnel ferry off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

Peter Jackson, 56, was sailing in the Solent with his wife Julie and two passengers, on his 33ft vessel Phoenix, when the ferry hit his cruiser from behind.

Mr Jackson feared his cruiser would be sucked under the ferry. The impact damaged the windshield and side of the boat caved in. Despite the damage, Peter limped the yacht back into West Cowes.

The collision was one of three incidents involving ferries in the Solent in the space of a month

Mr Jackson claimed the huge ferry had hit his boat from behind leaving him to face “a 60ft wall of steel”.
Speaking from his home he said: “It sounded like a bazooka shell had hit us… we were bounced down the side of the hull towards the propellers. Only the radar arch over the yacht stopped us from being dragged under.”

Red Funnel, owners of the Red Falcon, deny responsibility, which may lead to a potential court case later this year.

Shortly after the collision, the Red Falcon crashed into another vessel, a moored yacht called “Greylag”, which subsequently sank.

The ferry then ran aground, leading to the suspension of the master and the mate.

Red Funnel have yet to comment on the collision with Phoenix, but CEO Fran Collins insists the company has ‘a proactive safety management culture’.