A RED Funnel ferry ran over a yacht because the master got stressed and disorientated during foggy conditions.

The Maritime Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has completed its report into the incident, which happened at Cowes Harbour on October 21, 2018.

The report detailed how the master became fixated upon the information displayed on his electronic chart and operating engine controls and ignored information displayed on other electronic equipment — becoming 'cognitively overloaded' due to high stress.

The report also examined how thick fog and bad conditions proved to make the situation more dangerous.

Chief inspector of marine accidents for the MAIB said: "Our investigation highlighted how quickly restricted visibility can negatively affect individuals’ awareness and orientation, which increases their stress and impacts on decision making.

"Crews on vessels of any size can be affected, but the consequences can be mitigated by prior preparation and training, effective teamwork.

"As a result of our investigation, Red Funnel has introduced measures to address many of the shortcomings identified in the report, but two recommendations have been made to the company aimed at further improving their operational practices.

"It was very fortunate that nobody was on board yacht Greylag when it was struck and overrun by Red Falcon.

"In this respect, the family on a yacht on a nearby swinging mooring had a lucky escape.

"When Red Falcon swung around it narrowly missed Cowes Yacht Haven marina wall, and had yachts been rafted there the consequences of this accident could also have been much more severe.

"Our investigation has highlighted that commercial vessels can pose a danger to people sleeping on yachts in some areas of Cowes Harbour, and recommendations have been made to Cowes Harbour Commissioners and Cowes Yacht Haven to review their risk assessments."

The summary stated: "At 8.11am, when navigating in severely reduced visibility in Cowes Harbour, the master of the passenger ferry Red Falcon lost orientation when his vessel swung out of control, departed the navigable channel and was spun around through 220°.

"In his confusion the master drove the ferry in the wrong direction, resulting in a collision with the moored yacht Greylag which was sunk on its mooring as a result."

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