Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, June 07, 2010

Woman overboard on the Dover cross-channel ferry

Over the weekend I picked up news initially from Kent Online and then later on the Daily Mirror of a woman who fell overboard from P&O's Pride of Calais.

The unfortunate French woman fell some 30 feet from the deck of the ferry at about 8pm on Friday evening when the ferry was 7 miles off the Dover coast.

From what I read it appears that the response to the passenger emergency was swift and efficient with both a rescue helicopter and a lifeboat being mobilised, the ferry doing a rapid U-turn, and the ferry crew launching a fast rescue craft which successfully recovered the passenger within 10 minutes of her falling from the boat.

This got me thinking that the lady concerned had a very fortunate escape because some of the ferry boats that now cross the channel are absolutely massive and the passenger decks are sometimes 10 floors or more above the sea level.

Searching the BBC news archive for 'ferry overboard' articles I found that there's quite a few similar stories of passengers falling from ferries, and a number of them didn't end up with such a good outcome for the passenger concerned.

Well done to P&O on this occasion, and "don't try this yourself at home"!

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