Wightlink teams up with HM Coastguard on an initiative to improve safety at sea

Captain Sam Mitchell from Wightlink with Coastguard Commander George Close at Wightlink’s Portsmouth terminal

Wightlink crews are working with HM Coastguard to improve safety at sea for everyone who takes to the water.

Officers based at the Coastguard’s Joint Response Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Fareham have crossed the Solent on board two of Wightlink’s Portsmouth-Fishbourne ferries and discussed the company’s operations with its Captains and Bridge officers.

Coastguard Commander George Close says: “These training visits give us valuable insights into commercial ferry operations. Should there be an incident in the Solent we will work together so it’s important to know each other’s systems and procedures. This builds upon the regular Search and Rescue exercises we carry out with Wightlink and other ferry operators in the region.” He presented Wightlink with a plaque to mark the collaboration.

Wightlink’s six vehicle ferries and two FastCat foot passenger catamarans link the Isle of Wight with the company’s ports in Portsmouth and Lymington.

Head of Fleet Operations Captain Sam Mitchell says: “Our Bridge teams have unrivalled knowledge of Solent waters and value our close links with the Coastguard. We were pleased to welcome them onboard and hope to carry out more joint exercises in the near future.”

Return visits by Wightlink crews to the JRCC to learn more about Coastguard activities are also planned.