On 10 December 2017, the UK registered ro-ro passenger ferry Pride of Kent struck a jetty and then grounded while departing Calais, France. The ferry’s starboard propeller and tail-shaft were damaged and required repair in dry dock. The jetty was also damaged but there were no injuries and no pollution.
Control of Pride of Kent’s movement was lost after the ferry had turned off its berth to head for the harbour entrance. Factors directly contributing to the loss of control included:
• The ferry’s fast rate of turn as it passed through its intended heading.
• The loss of one of the ferry’s two bow thrusters during the turn.
• Lateral movement resulting from leeway induced by winds exceeding 50 knots and the thrust effect of using full port rudder with maximum propeller pitch ahead. Other factors that also had a bearing on decision-making, the bridge team’s performance, and machinery reliability included:
• The master’s concern that the wind speed might increase to over 40 knots, the threshhold for having a tug available, influenced the timing of the ferry’s departure.
• The omission of a departure brief contributed to the master not being fully supported, and the inexperienced helmsman not being closely supervised.
• Fuel pump problems following a change to ultra-low sulphur fuel oil had occasionally resulted in bow thrusters tripping and reduced engine speed and shaft speeds when manoeuvring. In view of the actions already taken by P&O Ferries Limited, Pride of Kent’s owner/operator, to improve the performance of its bridge teams and maintain machinery reliability, no recommendations have been made.
Source: MAIB - the above is a synopis of the report. the full report is available on the MAIB website