On Sunday 17th June 1956 Red Funnel’s paddle steamer Bournemouth Queen ran down and sliced in half a sailing dinghy off Fawley in Southampton Water on her scheduled run on her usual service connecting Southampton, Ryde and Southsea.
Bournemouth Queen’s master, Capt G Hinch, said “We were passing Fawley Jetty when I saw the 14ft sailing dinghy crossing from port to starboard. I ordered the man at the wheel to port his wheel to pass under the dinghy’s stern. But instead of keeping on his course the chap steering the dinghy put his helm down and tried to get over on the other tack. Unfortunately we did not have time to clear him.”
The three occupants of the dinghy who were all soldiers were picked up by a launch from Fawley unharmed.
Capt Hinch ended by saying “It is the first accident I have had in 48 years’ sea-going.”