Dec 162007

Combined toplight - did they forget?

Sadly, it is unlikely we will know for sure what happened to the Sailfish 25 sloop Ouzo after she disappeared from the Southampton/Portsmouth VTS Sandown  Bay on the night of 21/22 August 2006.  Neither the boat nor any debris has so far been found to provide conclusive evidence regarding her loss, only the three bodies of her crew. The UK’s  Maritime Accident Investigation Branch believed that the tiny vessel collided with, or was swamped by, the ro-ro ferry Pride Of Bilbao, which encountered a small boat , invisible to radar which was spotted by its lights at about 300 metres, at 0107.  After studying other available data a team from  South Tyneside College proposed another vessel, the Crescent Beaune,  which did not have a lookout posted at the time and whose path may have crossed the Ouzo at 0140.

Regardless of how the Ouzo was lost, there are lessons to learn from the investigation. Continue reading »