Just one of P&O Ferries’ eight services has been cleared to sail for more than three weeks after its massive layoff of 800 sailors. Eight ferries were hit by the fire, only one being allowed to continue its service, according to The Mirror.
Two other ferries have been detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), with the others still awaiting inspection. The Pride of Rotterdam and the Norbank ferry between Liverpool and Dublin were not impacted.
The MCA said: ‘There are no further P&O Ferries inspections at this time and we will re-inspect at the appropriate time.’
Sailings from Dover to Calais have been canceled this weekend, threatening to affect travelers hoping to go abroad over the Easter period. The company said it would provide full refunds to anyone scheduled to travel on the route this weekend. A spokesperson told the Mirror: “From this weekend, P&O Ferries are preparing to resume services on a number of vital routes.
“P&O has worked closely with regulators to ensure our vessels can navigate safely. P&O is delighted to welcome back vital services and we anticipate that two of our vessels will be ready to sail the Dover route. -Calais by next week, subject to regulatory approval, namely both the Pride of Kent and the Spirit of Britain between Dover and Calais.
“P&O also expects to be able to navigate both the European Causeway which connects Larne and Cairnryan; and the Pride of Hull, which provides services between Hull and Rotterdam.”
P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite has admitted the company knowingly broke the law by making the redundancies last month. A criminal investigation has been opened into the sackings, while politicians have called for a public inquiry into the matter.
For more stories of where you live, visit In your region.