As the modern day has been given way from the sailing age,
But on the morning of Monday 17th April 1995,
during the busy Easter holidays, the
The twin hulled hydrofoil ferry was operated by Channiland,
a French company that delivered hundreds of passengers at a time from the
That day she sailed from Jersey at around 0945 and headed
off towards Sark, the smallest of the
With 307 people on board, they had a standard time of 30 minutes to evacuate the Saint Malo, liferafts were deployed and a distress call was sent. Ships in the area raced to the scene as the ferry started listing dangerously to port as one half was now completely filled with water, threatening to sink the rest of the vessel.
It didn’t take long for a nearby ferry to head to the site and with helicopters inbound the rescue operation was now in full swing. Many of the passengers were now jumping straight from the side of the ship onto the inflatable life raft and 55 people received injuries doing this. Some of the passengers caught the evacuation on camera and it was flashed on the news bulletins that day.
After 77 minutes the ship had been abandoned save for the captain and a few crew members, but this had taken over double the time it should have taken. The ferry was taken in tow and beached nearby, the tide exposing the damage caused by the rocks.
The Saint Malo was later repaired and put back into service, being renamed Condor France in 1996, Acacia in 1998, Spirit I in 2008 and finally she is still operating today as the Lovely I under the flag of St Kitts in the Caribbean (left).
In 1997 a sculpture of two clasped hands was placed on the cliffs above the area where the rescue of the Saint Malo passengers took place, a hundred people there to unveil the plaque and to commemorate the day that could have ended in disaster, it being described as a miracle and a testament to those who risked their own lives to save others.