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Red Funnel assists in rescue operation in the Solent

Tue, Aug 20 2019

Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry, Red Eagle, assisted in a rescue operation this morning (21st August) during its 06:00 Southampton to East Cowes sailing.

Just five minutes after departing Southampton, Captain Craig Young, spotted an upturned dinghy in the water off Hythe (near Dock Head). Further investigation aided by binoculars revealed that a man was in the water, holding onto the side of the dinghy. Captain Young immediately instructed his team to deploy Red Eagle’s rescue boat, which was launched by Deck Mate, Paul Gowland and manned by ABs Elizabeth Brindle and Oliver Russel. ABP and the Coast Guard were also alerted.

Southampton Patrol attended the incident and was able to recover the man from the water, assisted by Red Funnel’s crew on the rescue boat, and brought him to shore where local medics attended. He was taken to hospital via ambulance.

Red Eagle’s rescue boat towed the stranded dinghy to Hythe Marina before returning to the ferry for the 06:00 sailing to recommence.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said: “I am extremely proud of Red Eagle’s team for their quick thinking and efforts in this morning’s rescue operation. The crew were on their second to last sailing of their night shift, demonstrating true commitment and heroism. Our teams are always happy to help in incidents such as this and be another set of eyes to spot anyone that may be in trouble out on the water; this was a true joint effort between the Coast Guard, ABP and our own crew.

“We have experienced some delays to our service as a result; however, our teams are working hard to minimise these as much as possible, with the return Red Eagle sailing from East Cowes to Southampton berthing only five minutes past the scheduled arrival time. We had approximately 50 passengers on board this morning’s 06:00 from Southampton, and we thank everyone for their understanding and patience.

“We also send our well wishes to the man recovered and are keeping him and his family in our thoughts.”


For further information regarding Red Funnel, please contact:

Lisa Norman or Kirsti Pawlowski at McKenna Townsend

T: 01425 472330

E: [email protected]

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.  In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.  The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s 2019 Charity of the Year is Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight.

For more information visit: