P&O Ferries accuses agency of ‘unprecedented rigour’ in detaining two ships

European Causeway was held in Larne, Northern Ireland, on Friday, while Pride of Kent was detained in Dover, Kent, on Monday.

30 March 2022

P&O Ferries has accused the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of operating with “an unprecedented level of rigour” after it detained two of its ships.

European Causeway was held in Larne, Northern Ireland, on Friday, while Pride Of Kent was detained in Dover, Kent, on Monday.

Both ships failed inspections of emergency equipment, crew training and documentation.

The inspections are being carried out after P&O Ferries sacked nearly 800 seafarers on March 17 and replaced them with cheaper agency workers.

Trade unions and MPs have expressed fears that the controversial decision threatens safety.

A spokesman for P&O Ferries said: “It is clear that – following interventions by ministers and MPs – the MCA inspections have reached an unprecedented level of rigour, and we have been told that our ships will also now be required to pass further inspections by the flag state and classification society respectively.

“We welcome this additional scrutiny and would reiterate that the safety of our passengers and crew is our foremost priority.

“Any suggestion that it is being compromised in any way is categorically false and we look forward to all of our ships welcoming tourist passengers and freight customers again as soon as all mandatory safety tests have been passed.”

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