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P&O’s Pride of Kent remains detained after additional deficiencies found

PA News

A P&O Ferries vessel is to remain detained after “additional deficiencies” were found during a reinspection.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said there were issues with safety systems and crew documentation for the Pride of Kent, which has now been detained for more than a fortnight.

P&O Ferries suspended most of its operations when it replaced nearly 800 seafarers with cheaper agency workers on March 17.

The MCA said it had advised P&O to invite the agency back when the issues with Pride of Kent, which was detained on March 28, have been addressed.

An MCA spokesperson said on Wednesday evening: “The Pride of Kent will remain detained following the reinspection of the ferry today which found a number of additional deficiencies including in safety systems and crew documentation.

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

Freight lorries queue at the Port of Dover on Tuesday (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Freight lorries queue at the Port of Dover on Tuesday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Another vessel, Spirit of Britain, was detained on Tuesday after an inspection found “a number of deficiencies”.

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

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

A 23-mile coastbound stretch of the M20 is closed from junction eight (Maidstone) to junction 11 (Westenhanger) to hold thousands of lorries as part of Operation Brock.

P&O Ferries has accused the MCA of carrying out inspections with “an unprecedented level of rigour”.

In response, the agency said it works “in exactly the same robust way” for every ship.

It previously cleared P&O Ferries’ Pride of Hull and European Causeway vessels, which are operating on the Hull-Rotterdam and Larne-Cairnryan routes respectively.

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