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MAIB - Collision Between High Speed Passenger Vessel 'Typhoon Clipper' and Workboat 'Alison'

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MAIB - Collision Between High Speed Passenger Vessel 'Typhoon Clipper' and Workboat 'Alison'

Passenger Vessel and Workboat Collision on River Thames

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a report on the investigation of the collision between the high-speed passenger catamaran ‘Typhoon Clipper’ and the workboat ‘Alison’.

At 1108 on 5 December 2016 the high-speed passenger catamaran Typhoon Clipper and the workboat Alison collided adjacent to Tower Millennium Pier, River Thames, London.

Alison capsized and sank immediately. The two crewmen on board were subsequently rescued by Typhoon Clipper’s crew. Alison’s crewmen were treated at the scene for the symptoms of cold shock, then admitted to hospital for checks.

Alison was recovered off of the riverbed the following day by Port of London Authority.

Safety Issues

  • Avoiding collision starts with keeping a good lookout and assessing the shipping situation. In this case, neither vessel had properly identified the risk of collision.

  • Use of sound signals in congested waterways can alert other vessels to your intentions; however, neither vessel made a sound signal which could have acted as a warning.

  • Wearing a lifejacket is an important safety measure for workboat crews operating in congested waters.

  • The rapid emergency response by the crew of Typhoon Clipper was a testament to the effectiveness of drills and being preparing for emergencies.


This report highlights ambiguities in the Port of London Authority’s regulations regarding the keeping of lookout in vessels with ‘restricted visibility’ and the use of sound signals by vessels intending to enter the Thames fairway, resulting in a safety recommendation (2017/147).

A safety recommendation (2017/148) has also been made to Alison’s owner and operator, Crown River Cruises Limited, to update its safety management system to include procedures for the operation of its workboats.

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MAIB investigation report 24-2017: 'Typhoon Clipper' and 'Alison'

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