Ferry crashes into two yachts near Isle of Wight

The Red Falcon Ferry. Picture: @thetony_howard/Twitter/PA
The Red Falcon Ferry. Picture: @thetony_howard/Twitter/PA
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A ferry has crashed into at least two yachts near to Isle of Wight during heavy fog.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the Red Falcon Ferry, belonging to Red Funnel, collided with the vessels while trying to dock at Cowes Harbour.

The first emergency calls were made just after 8am this morning.

It also said a 999 call had been received, with a member of the public saying that they had heard ‘cries for help’ within the harbour.

An extensive search of the area is being carried out, and a search and rescue helicopter was used this morning.

The ferry, which had 56 people on board, is still grounded at the entrance at Cowes. The agency said all those onboard were ‘safe and well’.

A spokesperson for Red Funnel said: ‘The 07.00 vehicle ferry sailing from Southampton to East Cowes came into contact with several small yachts whilst entering Cowes Harbour at 08.00 this morning (21/10/18) in dense fog,

‘The ship (Red Falcon) is currently aground but is watertight and no injuries have been sustained to any of the 40 passengers on-board.

‘There are no reports of any injuries to anyone who was involved in the incident.

‘Attempts to refloat the vessel are currently underway on a falling tide. If this proves unsuccessful, a further attempt will be made at the next high tide.’

Cowes Harbour is currently closed to all traffic.