Ships collide near Belfast Lough

Published Wednesday, 07 March 2012
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A Stena ferry has been in a collision with another ship near the entrance of Belfast Lough.

Ships collide near Belfast Lough
There are no reports of injuries at this stage. (© UTV)

The incident - which involved the Stena Feronia and the 'Union Moon' cargo vessel - happened at 7.45pm on Wednesday evening close to the Fairway Buoy on the Co Down coast.

The ferry had left the Merseyside's Birkenhead on a morning sailing and was on the final stretch to Belfast when the collision took place.

Fifty-one passengers and 47 crew onboard have been taken off the Stena Feronia, a spokesperson from the company has confirmed.

There are no reports of any injuries at this stage.

It is understood the Stena ferry has now docked at the Stena terminal, while the other vessel remains at the scene as instructed by Belfast Harbour.

Police are assisting the Maritime and Coastguard agency to investigate the incident.

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs said: "First and foremost there will be a great deal of relief that this incident did not result in casualties as we could have been dealing with a tragedy and there will also be concern as to how this was able to happen in the first place.

"Many people will rightly be asking just how two modern vessels with state of the art navigation equipment can collide in a major shipping lane.

The East Antrim politician concluded:"This question must be answered in order to maintain public confidence and to ensure that the excellent safety record is maintained."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Joe in Co Antrim wrote (1,058 days ago):
What on earth qualifies Roy Beggs to comment on a shipping collision, did he watch seconds from disaster a couple of times? Really can't understand why people take the word of politicians with absolutely no experience or background in the field who feel the need to comment! Firstly, Belfast lough is not a 'major shipping lane', such lanes are defined as 'traffic separation schemes' or TSS for short, and there are none of these in the Belfast area. Secondly, the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea (which all ships must comply with... Think of it as a really really complicated highway code!) ensure that a collision cannot be caused by one party alone without some kind of propulsion / steering failure whilst navigating in close proximity. The full explanation will take some time to be revealed and will be investigated by the MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch). For note, the Stena Ferronia is not a Stena Line ship, she is on charter from a sister company Stena RoRo to provide relief cover on the Belfast - Liverpool route during the refit of Stena Lagan at H&W If you need any facts and truth about things, feel free to ask, avoid Roy Beggs and the other politicians who know nothing about it, looking for their name to be advertised!
Donal in Ireland wrote (1,059 days ago):
Have a look at ship, the tracks of the two ships can be seen, union moon was heading out of belfast while the stem ship was approaching Belfast
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