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Tuesday, December 29, 2020 

The latest addition to Brittany Ferries’ fleet 'Galicia' has been cleared to resume sailing following suffering minor damage in Portsmouth port on 26/27 December.

The ship was caught up in Storm Bella, breaking a mooring line, causing it to pivot away from her berth in the wind. The stern was blown towards Whale Island, north of the port of Portsmouth, and grounded on the seabed. The ship was returned to its berth thanks to a joint operation involving the Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth and Portsmouth International Port. The captain and crew, along with two harbour pilots, the port operations teams and the crews of tugboats Bountiful, Warrior and Scotsman worked together to bring the ship back safely alongside.

There were no passengers on board at the time, and no injuries occurred. No pollution was created by the ship. Brittany Ferries will work with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Portsmouth International Port to carry out a full investigation.

The ship was subsequently inspected by a team of divers and maritime surveyors.

Graham Boyes, Brittany Ferries’ operations manager for Portsmouth said: “Galicia is now safely back alongside, thanks to the quick and expert actions of her captain and crew, the port pilots and tugboats crews, and our partners at the Queen’s Harbour Master, Portsmouth Port Authority and Portsmouth International Port. We’d like to thank everyone involved for their excellent teamwork in bringing the incident to a quick and safe conclusion.”

Ben McInnes, Portsmouth Harbour Master said, “I am pleased that the Galicia, of Brittany Ferries, was successfully returned to the International Port after breaking her moorings during storm Bella. We activated the port emergency response team and dispatched two pilot boats, and three tugs to pull her stern free on the incoming tide. The bow remained afloat and at her berth at all times. Nobody was injured, and no pollution was created. As with any marine incident, a full investigation will take place. I am proud of the team effort to resolve the situation and bring the ship safely back to berth.”

The ship has now been certified by both Brittany Ferries and the regulatory authorities including the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency to continue service.

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