Home > News > Hydrofoil passenger ferry has accident; captains unskilled, former captains claim

Hydrofoil passenger ferry has accident; captains unskilled, former captains claim

A hydrofoil passenger ferry that runs between Amsterdam and IJmuiden-Velsen has had a one-sided accident this morning.

The ship rammed a canalside in the Amsterdam harbor while en-route to its docking station a few minutes away. Of the 25 people on board at the time, one was slightly injured.

Fast Flying Ferry [You may want to turn down your sound]

It is the third time since 2003 that an accident has occurred with one of the ferry boats, which are operated under the name ‘Fast Flying Ferry’ (FFF) by public transport company Connexxion.

In 2003 a Connexxion ferry hit a concrete quayside. Twenty people were wounded.

In 2007, one of the ferries hit a surveillance ship of the Royal Military Police.

The cause of today’s accident is still unclear, but according a former FFF captain this was an accident waiting to happen. Speaking to Amsterdam news daily Het Parool, the unnamed former captain says that most of the ferries are ‘operated by temporary workers.’

“A hydrofoil boat is like an airplane on water,” he says. “it is not a normal, floating ship, but one carried by wings.” This makes sailing one different, he explains. “But this fact is not acknowledged when personnel is hired. If you’ve sailed a pont [regular ferry] for a year they’ll put you on one of their wingboats. Dangerous. A ticking timebomb.”

A second man, also a former FFF captain, confirms to Het Parool that “four of the eight captains do not have the right skills.”

The high speed ferry is licensed to sail at 65 KM/hour. The rest of the traffic on the busy Noordzeekanaal employs speeds of between 15 and 18 KM/hour.

According to a regular passenger who was on board of the ferry during today’s accident, the ship hit the sloping side of the canal at full speed.

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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