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Southport Reporter® your news and information from all over Merseyside.

Date:- 04 February 2007

Your news... Your words...  Email us your stories and news!
Ferry Collides With Ship In The River Mersey...

AT around 11.54am on Saturday 3 February 2007, Liverpool Coastguard received a call from Liverpool Port Authority informing them that the Isle of Man, Sea Express 1 had been involved in a collision at the entrance to Alfred Dock, in the river Mersey with a cargo ship called Alaska Rainbow. The Isle of Man catamaran car ferry was on its normal scheduled run when the accident happened in the low visibility of heavy fog. After the accident the Sea Express 1 was reported to have suffered damage to the bridge and also to the stern and had started taking on water in the port side engine room. The ferry was brought back to its berth at Pier Head, Liverpool with the assistance of two tugs where all 294 passengers and crew disembarked. Luckily, no one has been injured on either vessel, according to the Liverpool Coastguard. The now crippled vessel had taken on a 30 list to the port side and fire and salvage teams had to use pumping equipment to stop the vessel from sinking further into the river Mersey. One passenger said:- "I had just got through on my mobile phone to my wife when the impact occurred. The impact was very hard and bounced us to one side with a huge scraping banging sound. The next second the ferry crews were shouting, “stay calm” and “sit down”, but also at the same time telling us to put our lifejackets on. It was frightening. Sadly, my car is still on board and in it my clothing and wallet! I can not fly home as the fog, I have been told, has grounded flights out of Liverpool." Another told us that:- "It was a strange experience. I heard a loud band and a scraping sound as a severe judder shook the ship. I could see a large blue boat next to us and I realised we must have been rammed by it. Then the emergency alarm came on and the crews dashed around telling us how to proceed."

After the collision the cargo ship was anchored off the coastline of Crosby and was reported to have returned to port on Saturday 4 February 2007 for an inspection.

Liverpool Coastguard said:- "At midday Liverpool Coastguard were informed that a collision had occurred between a passenger ferry and a general cargo vessel near the entrance to Alfred Dock in the River Mersey. The vessels involved were the high speed ferry Sea Express 1, which runs from Liverpool to Isle of Man and the Bulk carrier Alaska Rainbow.

The Alaska Rainbow (157m length), anchored on Liverpool Bar and will be inspected by a surveyor from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency before continuing on her passage.

MAIB, (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) will investigate the collision."

Click here for more images of the crippled Seacat

--- NEWS REPORTS ---
Ferry Collides With Ship In Mersey More Images
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Ferry Collides With Ship In Mersey

Fact file:- The Sea Express 1 was formerly known as SeaCat Isle of Man. It was built in 1991 as a
twin hull design known as a catamaran by Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd. It is 74 metres long and takes 532
passengers and crew, as well as 75 Vehicles. The twin hulled ferry is powered by 4 resiliently
mounted Ruston 16RK270 marine diesel engines and propulsion power from 2 4320 KW Diesel engines.

The ship uses 4 water Jets, 115DX waterjets, configured for steering and reversing.

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