3rd P&O UK channel ferry cleared to restart sailings by inspectors

   May 27, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

A 3rd ship of P&O Ferries UK deployed on the English Channel crossing route was given safety clearance to restart operations.

Pride of Canterbury ferry can now join the fleetmates Pride of Kent and Spirit of Britain, after being cleared by the UK's MCA-Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Safety fears were raised after P&O Ferries replaced ~800 seafarers with cheaper agency staff in March 2022.

P&O Ferries has yet to confirm when its Pride of Canterbury ferry will be restarting service.

A spokesperson for the MCA said the inspection onboard Pride of Canterbury had been completed and the vessel could commence operations when P&O Ferries were ready.

"There are no further inspections of P&O Ferries at the moment but we will reinspect when requested by P&O Ferries."

On Thursday evening, May 26, P&O tweeted it would operate a revised schedule until May 31.

It leaves Spirit of France as the last of the line's cross Channel fleet still awaiting clearance.

In an interview aboard Pride of Kent this week, P&O's boss Peter Hebblethwaite said he was "incredibly sorry" for the impact of the sackings, but added it was "the route we only deemed possible".

Demonstrations against the seafarers' sackings were held around the country, and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called for P&O to repay the GBP 11 million it had received from the government to furlough staff during the COVID crisis.