First P&O Ferries vessel crosses Channel since sackings

A P&O Ferries vessel has reportedly crossed the English Channel for the first time since the company controversially sacked almost 800 seafarers on March 17.

The firm’s Spirit of Britain (pictured) left Dover for Calais just after 11pm on Tuesday (April 26), reported the BBC.

The broadcaster said that the Spirit of Britain will initially carry only freight and no tourist traffic.

It is the only P&O Ferries ship back in service on the Dover to Calais route, with three others still waiting to pass inspections.

The firm’s Twitter feed says services on the route remain suspended today.

The seafarers who were summarily dismissed on March 17 have been replaced by agency workers on lower wages, prompting union calls to boycott the ferry operator.

Meanwhile, The Times has reported that agency workers employed by P&O Ferries are refusing to work on a ship that lost power and drifted in the Irish Sea for two hours on Tuesday, on the Cairnryan-Larne route.

P&O Ferries said the incident on the European Causeway was caused by a “temporary mechanical issue” that had been resolved.

The Times reports that, after the incident, several of the ship’s crew asked maritime unions for advice about terminating their contracts.

Sky News said the cause of the failure is being investigated and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed that the European Causeway will face a fresh safety inspection.

The European Causeway was only released from detention on April 8, it added.

More: P&O Ferries ship suffers ‘mechanical issue’ in Irish Sea

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