Ferry training exercise tests response to major incident

Spirit of the Tyne mid Tyne with Life boat alongside
6 February 2019

A training exercise has tested the response to a major incident on the Shields Ferry.

The exercise, which took place on the River Tyne this morning, Wednesday 6 February, gave emergency services the chance to practice their response to a collision between the ferry and another vessel.

The Shields Ferry crew tested out emergency incident procedures alongside their partners at the Port of Tyne, HM Coastguard and the RNLI.

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: “Emergency training ensures that we are ready to deal with major incidents.

“We always say this is training for a day that we hope will never come, but we have to be prepared for the sort of challenges we would face in the event of a maritime accident on the River Tyne.

“This exercise gave us the chance to work with the lifeboat crews and other agencies to ensure that our responses are tested fully. This included rehearsing for a collision mid river, administering first aid, and the rescue of people from the water.

“My thanks go to the RNLI, Port of Tyne and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for their support and involvement in the exercise. It was a hugely important event for all concerned.”

Mannequins were used as victims of a staged collision between the Spirit of the Tyne passenger ferry and a fishing boat.

Actors were also on board to play the role of passengers to make the experience as realistic as possible for emergency workers.

The actors, who were in fact students from South Shields Marine School, had to put on life jackets and report to muster stations before they were rescued by the Tynemouth Lifeboat and Port of Tyne Pilot Boat.

The Coastguard Search and Rescue team were joined by the South Shields Voluntary Life Brigade to practice for the recovery of a casualty from the engine bay on board the ferry.


Ferry Skipper Nathan Williamson

Deputy Coxswain of the Tynemouth Lifeboat Dave Robinson

© 2019 Nexus Tyne and Wear - Public Transport and Local Information.