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P&O Ferries' Pride of Kent passes fourth inspection by MCA

A P&O ship has been cleared for sail after being reinspected for a fourth time.

A team from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) boarded Pride of Kent, currently berthed at Dover, at the request of the ferry firm.

P&O's ships, moored at Dover. Picture: Barry Goodwin
P&O's ships, moored at Dover. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The vessel was grounded on March 17 when P&O sacked nearly 800 seafarers in a shock move.

The company said it needed to fire the workers and hire cheaper agency staff in order to make its business viable.

The move sparked backlash from the government, trade unions and public, with protests and calls to boycott the firm being held.

Currently, the only P&O ship moving from Dover is the Spirit of Britain, which resumed passenger crossings last week, and freight the week before.

Pride of Kent failed inspections on March 28, April 13 and again on May 3.

Having reinspected the ship today, a spokesman for MCA said: “The Pride of Kent has been released from detention and can commence operations when P&O Ferries are ready.

“There are no further inspections of P&O Ferries at the moment but we will reinspect when requested by P&O Ferries.”

P&O's Pride of Hull (Hull to Rotterdam), Norbay (Liverpool to Dublin), European Causeway (Cairnryan to Larne) and European Highlander (Cairnryan to Larne) have been inspected and cleared to sail.

Two other ferries are yet to have their full Port State Control inspections.

A P&O Ferries spokesman said: "The Pride of Kent has passed its inspection by the MCA and will resume services on the Channel in the next two weeks.

"This comes after the Spirit of Britain already resumed sailing between Dover & Calais for tourists and freight last month.

"We take the safety of our passengers and crew very seriously and look forward to all of our ships welcoming tourist passengers and freight customers again.

"We would like to thank the MCA for their continued engagement in assessing our ships to ensure they meet the highest safety standards."

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