Pride of Kent & Spirit of Britain in Dover Photo 131577034 © Hans Geel
© Hans Geel

Inspectors from the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) have again failed the P&O ferry, Pride of Kent, based at Dover.

The vessel failed a previous safety inspection, on 21 April.

Inspections of eight P&O Ferries vessels have been taking place since the company sacked 800 seafarers in mid-March – the Spirit if Britain is currently the only operational vessel on the Dover to Calais route.

The MCA said: “The Pride of Kent remains under detention after failing to pass its re-inspection today. There are no further inspections of P&O Ferries at the moment, but we will inspect [and re-inspect] when requested by the company”.

In an effort to understand why so many of P&O Ferries’ vessels were failing MCA inspections on multiple occasions, The Loadstar asked the operator to explain from where crew were being sourced and how they were being trained.

P&O Ferries, whose Twitter page says “we’re here to answer your questions 24/7”, did not respond directly to the questions, but released a generic statement.

“Safety is the utmost priority for P&O Ferries and our crewing management partners. They have recruited high-quality experienced seafarers, who have familiarised themselves with the ships, going through all mandatory training requirements set out by our regulators. It is clear that the safety inspections of our vessels have reached an unprecedented level of rigour, and we welcome this additional scrutiny to help us come back even better than before.

“Despite the attempts from some parties to undermine our business by creating false rumours and uninformed commentary, our morale is high and our spirit as a company is strong. P&O Ferries is welcoming passengers and freight customers on board its services and we will be back to full service shortly. We will also return to commercial viability soon, which is vital for our future as a business and also for the sake of the thousands of people we employ. The overwhelming majority of agency seafarers onboard all our vessels are working well, as normal and all have been paid on time.”

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