Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Unwatertight Case

Holy hulls! According to a report out today by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch the watertight doors on one of our lovely TransEuropa ferries 'were regularly left open while it was at sea'. The findings were published after an engine-room fitter was hurt on the Eurovoyager.

The fitter was found trapped in a hydraulically-operated steel watertight door in a machinery space as the vessel sailed from Oostende (Ostend in old money) for the Millionaires' Playground last November. The report found that there had been a number of problems with watertight door operations on the ferry and adds:

On-board procedures for the operation of watertight doors were poorly promulgated and were not monitored or enforced. It was the usual practice on board for the watertight doors to be in local control. However, VDR (voyage data recorder) data showed that many of the doors were routinely left open at sea, which potentially compromised the vessel's watertight integrity.

TransEuropa say they will not be commenting. Oh well, if they can't manage to close the doors at least they can keep their traps shut!

Meanwhile it's been six months since the new Euroferries fast service between Ramsgate and Boulogne was announced by Dr Steve Ladyboy. The Euroferries cat is currently among the Canaries, but it would seem that TDC have been dragging their heels by producing endless bumf for the operators to sign. In fact the council duffers have been so slow to snap this up that I wouldn't be surprised if it's soon announced as yet another Boulogne - Dover service!

Full story on BBC News website


Anonymous said...

Disgraceful. It's precisely this kind of slipshod management and operation which was the cause of 200 people dying on the Herald of Free Enterprise back in 1987 - the bow doors had been left open.
TEF should hang their heads in shame at allowing a possible similar catastrophe being able to happen.

Anonymous said...

I booked a break in Ramsgate just so I could do a day trip! From Dover, with a voucher, PO are only charging £1 to go to Calais for the day. They wont be selling these tickets in the new 99p shop.
Maybe the Dragons’ Den Duncan Bannatyne can sort the ferry and TDC out. According to youthanet in a new TV show to be called Save Our Seaside, he will look at what’s gone wrong with a number of seaside attractions including Ramsgate.

Anonymous said...

Duncan has the relevant experience. He made his money from care homes for the elderly ? Perhaps he will conclude that the problems in Thanet stemmed from too many people here doing the same thing ?

Followed by Costa del Dole under Thatcher. And Costa del Roma now.

Duncan promotional slogan "Visit Thanet but get your shots first and bring your own water"?

Lucy Mail said...

You really should save all of those witty tag lines for a book, or maybe your own blog, Ricardo.
Posting them here is rather inappropriate, as quite a few people read this blog.

Michael Child said...

5.03 I think you may have missed the point here these are not the external watertight doors that caused the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, these are internal watertight doors between compartments of the ship that are below the waterline, there purpose being to stop the ship from sinking if it is holed.

Anonymous said...


Hopefully his never happens in a Titanic-al manner. One or two incidents in the channel indicate that the closing of these internal doors is an important feature - and that the shipping line in question should be heavily fined.

We have already had deaths in Ramsgate from a previous ferry operator.

I sometime wonder if our so called regulatory bodies actually safeguard the interests of businesses over the public?

Anonymous said...

How wonderfull to see that the tug Cervia is being refitted a mammoth
job but by a man who knows the ship and understands steam .Advice has been offered by thanet council their mucky fingers might fit the bill but thats about all leave the man alone and it has a chance of success