P&O Ferries has stopped a second ship for safety reasons Business

P&O Ferries has had a second ship detained by UK maritime authorities for safety reasons.

The Pride of Kent was held in Dover on Monday evening after the Maritime and Coastguard Agency carried out an inspection.

It comes days after another of its ferries, the European Causeway, was detained in Northern Ireland due to issues with crew training and ship documentation.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘Our surveyors are in the process of holding the Pride of Kent.

“We are awaiting confirmation of all items held.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Safety will not be compromised and further checks will continue.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, said: “It’s fairly rare for the MCA to seize a ferry, but P&O has now had two in a week after the jobs were cut, which speaks volumes about the dire state of their functioning.

The ferry operator has come under fire after laying off 800 seafarers earlier this month without holding a consultation.

The company plans to replace them with temporary staff at lower salaries.

P&O previously said it needed to cut staff costs to balance its books after losing £100million a year for the past two years.

Its owner DP World recently announced record profits and offered to pay the Dubai government a $275m (£210m) dividend.

To date, 757 dismissed seafarers are in the process of accepting P&O’s redundancy offer, 430 of whom will receive payment in April having already completed the paperwork.

Meanwhile, Mr Shapps is due to announce new measures on Wednesday to close an EU loophole that allowed P&O to carry out the mass layoffs.

It will be announced alongside the mandatory minimum wage for operators sailing in UK ports.

P&O said: “We fully welcome the government’s commitment to raising the minimum wage for all seafarers working in UK waters.

“From the outset, we have called for a level playing field over pay and conditions on UK ferry routes.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-29 05:00:00

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