Uriah Heep ferry with 20 passengers smashed in the Hythe pier in Hampshire, UK. The vessel was proceeding to the berth, but after blackout lost maneuverability and collided with the pier and hardly struck on it. The 20 passengers and 3 crew members were evacuated from the troubled vessel by the crew and local firefighters. The crew succeeded to warn the passengers about the collision a minute before smashing into the pier and all people were expecting the collision, which prevented from more serious injuries. Only 3 passengers suffered slight neck and back injuries, but after medical examination were released from the hospital.
The South Central Ambulance Service, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Police and Southampton Vessel Traffic Services were also involved in the rescue operation.
The ferry Uriah Heep was seriously damaged after the collision and started getting water ingress. Now the vessel is afloat, but towed to safe berth, where will need of further repair works and inspection. The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the accident, but according to all the evidences the ship suffered blackout and was unable to stop on time.
“One of the crew said ‘we’re having technical problems so it might be a hard landing’. We were told to sit down and all stay sitting down until we were told to get up”, said one of the passengers on board, Peter Thornton, 66.
The ferry Uriah Heep runs as a shuttle service between Hythe and Southampton. The vessel has overall length of 18.00 m, beam of 6.00 m and maximum draft of 2.50 m. The vessel is operated by Hythe Ferry.