The Commodore Clipper returned to service on the Portsmouth-Channel Isles service on 14th December following installation of her exhaust scrubbers. Storm Frank caused considerable damage to the port side hull belting on the Condor Liberation on the night of 30th December. Winds reached 63mph in Poole Harbour with the craft repeatedly pushed into the fendering at her berth. The vessel’s crew and port staff placed extra protection between the ship and berth to prevent further damage but the hull had by this time been breached.
Services were already being badly disrupted by the weather and technical incidents and this latest situation caused sailings to be cancelled throughout January. A visit to dry dock was necessary and from 11th January the Condor Rapide was entrusted with the UK-Channel isles-St. Malo highspeed sailings. Stormy weather saw the sailings on 11th January moved to the morning to avoid poor conditions from late Monday into Tuesday 12th January.
Extra sailings of the Commodore Clipper and Commodore goodwill were provided during this period of mass disruption, but the conventional schedules were being badly delayed by the punishing weather conditions. A review of Condor’s services by the Channel island authorities is highly likely considering the wave of problems since March 2015.
Paul Luxon has been appointed as the new CEO of Condor Ferries and will take up his post on 1st May 2016. A Guernsey resident who has worked in Jersey and Guernsey for more than 25 years, Paul is a well-known and highly respected figure in Channel Island political and business life. Mr Luxon will take over from the acting CEO, Russell Kew, who has also stepped down from his post of CEO at Wightlink Ferries.