Balmoral fails to stop before hitting the landing stage at Cowes

Balmoral fails to stop before hitting the landing stage at Cowes (Photo Joseph Wolton)

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been called in to investigate an incident in which the Penarth excursion ship MV Balmoral collided with the Trinity Landing Pontoon at Cowes on the Isle of Wight at the weekend .

The accident happened at 13:00 on Saturday when  Balmoral was manoeuvring towards the landing pontoon – which is located off The Parade on Cowes Esplanade

The wrecked pontoon at Cowes after being rammed by Balmoral

The wrecked pontoon at Cowes after being rammed by Balmoral. A 20 metre-long  section will have to be replaced.

The Balmoral failed to come to a halt in time and her bow collided with the landing stage causing what is described as “significant damage” to the pontoon. The Balmoral herself was not damaged and was able to continue with her programme of sailings – but further use of the badly bent landing stage at Cowes was ruled out and the ship had to be diverted to the Isle of Wight resort of  Yarmouth to embark passengers.

At 1300 the MV Balmoral was approaching the floating pontoon, located off The Parade on Cowes esplanade, to moor when the ship came into contact with the southernmost pontoon section during manoeuvring.

The incident was witnessed by Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) Berthing Masters, who were on Trinity Landing to assist with the MV Balmoral’s mooring lines, and also by passengers on The Parade waiting to embark.

A CHC spokesman said: ‘Conditions at the time were favourable with light breezes and a slack tide. No personnel were injured as a result of the incident, and the 62m passenger ship suffered no significant damage and was able to continue on to Yarmouth and around the Island.

‘However, the impact from the MV Balmoral has caused considerable damage to one of the five floating Trinity Landing pontoons. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has been informed and the harbour authority will also be carrying out a full investigation into the circumstances.

Cowes Harbour Commission says “Trinity Landing, owned by the Harbour Commission, is an important berthing facility, particularly during the main sailing season, and CHC is therefore reviewing options for the repair of the damaged section as a matter of priority, with the objective of reinstating it as soon as practicable.”

The coastal passenger vessel, operated by White Funnel Ltd, had departed Portsmouth earlier in the day with passengers and crew onboard and was due to berth at Trinity Landing before circumnavigating the Isle of Wight.

Balmoral is due to be back in the Bristol Channel at the end of the month and will call at Penarth on Friday July 29th 2016 12:15 for a cruise to Watchet.


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  1. FULL ASTERN. says:

    That`s OK Captain just a slight Hiccup Do Hope you get your ACT together before Visiting us. We Penarthians are a very Proud and Protective Bunch regarding our UNDAMAGED PIER.

  2. ak says:

    Waverley is worse – she steers only by a rudder, the two paddles cannot go in opposite directions, so once a breeze catches her – bang !

    I was on her years ago when she hit Ilfracombe pier, hard, and demolished the paddle wheel housing. Some running repairs and spot welding on the homeward leg.

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