SERIOUS injuries were only avoided when a giant ferry crashed into the quay at Harwich International Port because the dock acted as a crumple zone, a report has revealed.

The DFDS Sirena Seaways rammed into the quay on June 22 last year with almost 500 passengers on board.

The impact caused multiple hull gashes to the ferry with some below the waterline and demolished much of berth three at the port.

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, released this week, found control records of the ferry showed the starboard propeller system had remained set at 63 per cent ahead throughout the accident.