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P&O Ferries: Nautilus issues statement on European Causeway incident

27 April 2022

Nautilus International is highlighting the fact that the decision by P&O Ferries to sack experienced seafarers has directly led to an expensive multi-agency response, after the European Causeway lost power while sailing between Cairnryan and Larne yesterday.

On the afternoon of 26 April 2022, European Causeway was confirmed as losing power and manoeuvring capability whilst on passage between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The vessel was assisted by the coastguard, three RNLI lifeboats, local tugs and merchant shipping in the area.

'Issues such as these highlight the demands that ageing vessels have on crew. Since P&O Ferries disgracefully decided to break the law and sack 800 seafarers Nautilus has consistently argued there is no substitute for skill and experience. This has proven to be the case,' said Nautilus International executive officer Martyn Gray.

'New crew, lacking familiarity with the vessel, will find it much more challenging to be able to confront “mechanical issues” when they emerge. This lack of skill and experience has resulted in a costly multi-agency governmental response to protect the lives of passengers placed at risk by the inadequacies of P&O Ferries' operational changes.

'It is becoming increasingly obvious that the fears of Nautilus International might actually be realised, and that further government inspection and intervention is needed to ensure safe operations of these strategically vital ships.'

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