DFDS accident causes ferry cancellations

DFDS, a ferry line with its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, has had to suspend sailings between the port of Harwich in the UK and Esbjerg in Denmark after one of its ferries collided with the quay in Harwich.

The DFDS vessel, Sirena Seaways, collided with Parkeston Quay on arrival in Harwich around midday on Saturday during its docking procedure. 489 passengers were on board at the time, but no injuries were reported and there was no resultant pollution. However, the vessel does require essential maintenance and as a result all of the company’s sailings between Harwich and Esbjerg have been cancelled for the rest of this week.

Commenting on the disruption, the company said, ‘Our customer sales and service team are in the process of contacting affected passengers regarding the cancellations.’

According to a BBC report, people in the area at the time of the collision spoke of hearing a loud bang as the 23,000-tonne vessel hit the quay.

On impact, the ferry began to let in water and list to its port side. The crew plugged the hole from the inside and built a compartment with watertight doors. The rescue services were also called to attend the scene, including lifeboats, coastguard vessels and an RAF search and rescue helicopter. However, all passengers were reported to have disembarked safely.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is currently carrying out enquiries at the port.

DFDS currently operates 25 routes, with 50 vessels, concentrated mainly on the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel.