Ferry grounds while avoiding yachts

A fast ferry ran aground while avoiding yachts during Saturday's Round the Island Race.

One of Wightlink’s fast ferries ran aground while avoiding yachts during Saturday’s Round the Island Race. The 34-knot ferry FastCat-Shanklin, with 65 passengers and four crew aboard, spent an embarrassing 90 minutes stuck on Ryde Sands.

Several vessels attended to refloat the vessel, which was pulled free at 7.35pm and continued its passage to Ryde apparently undamaged. “With 16,000 people and 1,779 vessels involved in the Round the Island race this year, it was always going to be a busy day for us,” said Solent Coastguard Watch Manager Colin Griffiths, “but we were well prepared to deal with the variety of incidents that an event like this brings with it.”

The day saw a flurry of incidents, with the Coastguard Helicopter, Coastguard Rescue Teams and RNLI lifeboats being called to assist grounded vessels and men overboard.