The anxiety and frustration created by the Stena Voyager incident is a reminder of our vulnerability at sea, even on our local pond which can suddenly turn into a funnel of fury during a storm. These passengers were lucky there was no storm, unlike the passengers of the Princess Victoria, almost exactly 56 years ago. And whatever the improvements in design, ships doors will remain vulnerable, as the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster grimly reminds us.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London