Man rescued in Channel ferry drama

Contributed by editor on Nov 26, 2005 - 09:31 PM


A man has been recovered from the English Channel after falling overboard from the P&O Pride of Dover ferry.

Pride of Dover

A major rescue operation was mounted this afternoon (26 November) after a man fell overboard from the cross channel ferry.

He was recovered from the sea after being in the water for about 30 minutes.

The man was taken aboard the SeaFrance ferry Rodin and airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Dover lifeboat and an RAF helicopter from Wattisham took part in the rescue.

Helicopter crewman Sgt Lee Clark winched down to the ferry to collect the casualty. He was treated onboard the aircraft by a doctor from Colchester General Hospital while being airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital, in Margate, where he is now in a stable condition.

Captain Olly Tadbury, who led the helicopter rescue, said doctors confirmed the victim was just 15 minutes from death before he was rescued.

“It's always tricky with these because the water is cold and people do not have long in the water,� he said.

“He was very, very cold. He was still hypothermic in hospital. It took six minutes to get us airborne after the call, which is very quick. We needed to respond urgently.�

A spokeswoman for P&O is reported as saying that he crew would have known what happened straight away and would have been preparing to stop but because of the number of other ships in the area it was likely that other ferries would have seen it.

The QEQM hospital in Margate said the man, thought to be in his 30's, was in a stable condition and able to speak to police.

A Kent Police spokesman later said that he was now safe and well and had no injuries.