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P&O Ferries boat Spirit of Britain detained

This casts doubt on whether the firm will be able to restart Dover-Calais sailings route before Easter.

13 April 2022

Another P&O Ferries vessel has been detained, casting doubt on whether the firm will be able to restart the Dover-Calais route before Easter.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said Spirit of Britain is not being allowed to sail after an inspection identified several safety issues.

P&O Ferries suspended services on its Dover-Calais route after sacking nearly 800 seafarers and replacing them with cheaper agency workers on March 17.

The firm said sailings would remain cancelled until Good Friday at the earliest, but the decision of the MCA means the restart could be delayed.

A spokesman for the agency said: “The Spirit of Britain has been detained due to surveyors identifying a number of deficiencies which were grounds for detention.

“We have advised P&O to invite us back once they have addressed the issues. We do not know yet when this will be.”

The agency did not specify what the issues were.

Pride of Kent – another vessel used on the Dover-Calais route – remains under detention.

The suspension of cross-Channel sailings by P&O Ferries means there is a shortage of capacity on the Dover-Calais route.

This has contributed to large queues of lorries on the roads approaching the Port of Dover.

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