Somerset

Yacht and ship in near collision at Somerset harbour

  • 15 July 2010
  • From the section Somerset

A near collision between a private yacht and a pleasure cruise ship has been caught on video at Watchet Harbour, in Somerset.

The encounter, which involved the Balmoral ship, was filmed by local resident Gerry Lowe on Saturday.

Ted Davies, the ship's captain, said it had been "a very close call".

Mr Lowe, 57, said: "It was only due to the quick thinking of whoever was at the helm of the Balmoral that the boat stopped as quickly as it did."

Mr Lowe's video footage appears to show the yacht navigating straight into the path of the incoming ship.

In the 22-second clip, the yacht passes directly in front of the Balmoral, which has numerous passengers on deck, before continuing on its way.

Mr Lowe said it looked like the yacht had probably missed the ship by about 20 yards, adding: "There were a lot of people on the harbour and I thought the Balmoral was going to hit the yacht.

"Being an ex-seaman I was quite horrified."

'V-sign'

Mr Davies told the BBC: "The yacht disappeared under the bow, you couldn't see any of it apart from his mast - missing us I couldn't say by how far - but it was a very close call.

"He appeared on the other side of the bow and carried nonchalantly on, giving one of the crew members the v-sign as he went past."

He added that if the vessels had collided, emergency services would probably have had to be called.

"The speed we were travelling at, we'd have pushed him over, we certainly wouldn't have sliced him in half but we'd have tipped those two women and himself in the water."

The Balmoral was moored in Bristol's Cumberland Basin earlier and it was hoped it would resume day trips to ports around the Bristol Channel on Friday, weather permitting.

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