Calais Seaways ferry accidents and incidents

Calais Seaways ferry cruise ship

Former names
Norman Spirit, Ostend Spirit, Norman Spirit, Pride of Aquitaine, PO Aquitaine, POSL Aquitaine, Stena Royal, Prins Filip

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CruiseMapper's Calais Seaways ferry cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2000-passenger vessel owned by DFDS SEAWAYS (Ferries). Our Calais Seaways ferry accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • pier collision/allision - 2000 (in Calais France)
  • crew/passenger deaths - 1994 (6 passengers in Ramsgate England)

The vessel was previously operated under the names Prins Filip (1991-1998), Stena Royal (1998-1999), POSL Aquitaine (1999-2003), Pride of Aquitaine (2003-2005), Norman Spirit (2005-2010), Ostend Spirit (2010-2011), Norman Spirit (2011-2013) and Calais Seaways (since 2013). Shipowners were Stena RoRo (1998-2005), LD Lines (2006-2013) and DFDS Seaways (since 2013).

02 March 2019Other Incidents

On March 2, 2019, the cruise ferry was illegally boarded by 63 immigrants (later detained by the French police) in homeport Calais, sparking a 12-hour onboard manhunt. Around 100 migrants broke into ferry port's docking area and 63 managed to board the ship (at high tide) via a maintenance ladder.

In the morning on March 3, firemen talked down the last migrants who climbed to a catwalk (attached to ship's funnel). Two fell into the water but were soon rescued by the firemen. Calais Seaways ferry was moved overnight so the harbor could resume operations. The incident resulted in delays on the Dover-Calais route, with at least 2 ferries forced to remain at sea overnight prior to entering Port Calais.

27 April 2000Ship Collision / Allision

(POSL Aquitaine) On April 27, 2000, at ~10 am, upon berthing in homeport Calais (France), the ship failed to stop and crashed into Berth 7.

The accident was due to propeller malfunction and resulted in 209 injured (no fatalities), extensive damage to the berth and serious hull damages (bulbous bow and bow apron / aka "cow catcher").

The ferry was carrying 1241 passengers and 123 crew. After entering Calais harbor, the Captian tried to reduce the speed, but only the starboard propeller actually responded to the command. Portside propeller's failure was not noted by the Navigation Bridge team. As a result, the ship stroke the berth at speed 7 kN (8 mph / 13 kph). Propeller's failure was caused by a damaged oil pump (driven by the port engine).

At the time of the collision, most passengers were standing up and ready for debarkation. Other passengers were making their way down to garage decks. Following the crash, 180 passengers and 29 crew sustained injuries. The ship was taken out of service for drydock repairs and resumed service in June.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

14 September 1994Crew / Passenger Deaths

(MS Prins Filip) On September 14, 1994, 6 passengers died after the link span (mobile bridge) between the ship and the dock collapsed. The accident occurred upon boarding in homeport Ramsgate (England UK).

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