Publication of Risk Assessment Report on Proposed New Wightlink Ferries

Posted on 05 Apr 2008

No changes are anticipated in the regulation of existing leisure activities on the river.

Ferries should no longer wait in the river.

The Lymington Harbour Commissioners are now able to announce the publication of the Phase One Report of the major Risk Assessment exercise in connection with Wightlink’s wish to replace their ageing C- Class ferries with the new W- Class later this year.

The independent marine consultancy BMT Seatech carried out this first phase assessment over four months in consultation with representatives of all the river users. They have concluded that, subject to confirmation during the sea trials when the new vessels are available for test, no changes will be needed to the manner in which the existing leisure activities on the river are currently regulated.

Subject to confirmation during the sea trials, BMT expect that the current ferry operating speeds in the river can be maintained. It was also concluded that ferries should no longer wait in the river prior to passing in Short Reach.

In a recent meeting at which the report was presented to the consultees, some raised continuing concern regarding the effects of wind shadow and the vessel’s thrusters on sailing dinghies and small yachts without auxiliary power. The Commissioners accept the validity of these concerns and agreed that these aspects would be further evaluated during the proposed sea trials.

The Commissioners will now work with BMT Seatech and the consultees to establish a detailed Sea Trials programme to take place when two new ferries are available.

The full report will be published on the Harbour Commissioner’s website, and copies e-mailed to all the local interested parties.