Captain Sam Mitchell from Wightlink with HM Coastguard Commander George Close at Wightlink’s Portsmouth terminal
Wightlink has partnered with HM Coastguard, the UK’s national maritime emergency service, to improve safety on the Solent, a strait between the Isle of Wight and Great Britain.
Officers based at HM Coastguard’s Joint Response Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Fareham crossed the Solent onboard two of Wightlink’s Portsmouth-Fishbourne ferries. They discussed Wightlink’s operations with its captains and bridge officers.
“Our bridge teams have unrivalled knowledge of Solent waters and value our close links with the coastguard,” said Captain Sam Mitchell, Wightlink’s head of fleet operations. “We were pleased to welcome them onboard and hope to carry out more joint exercises in the near future.”
To commemorate the collaboration, coastguard commander George Close presented Wightlink with a plaque. “These training visits give us valuable insights into commercial ferry operations,” said Close. “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.”
Wightlink, which operates six vehicle ferries and two FastCat foot passenger catamarans between the Isle of Wight and ports in Portsmouth and Lymington, plan to visit the JRCC to learn more about HM Coastguard’s safety activities.