12 April 2022
RMT Press Office
Maritime union RMT has written to the Transport Secretary following a catalogue of failures on the P&O operated Pride of Hull vessel.
Port authorities in the Netherlands listed failures around fire safety, deficient training for crew and below standard ship structural integrity, during an inspection between 7 and 8 April.
P&O sacked 800 workers in Britain without warning last month, sparking angry protests at ports across the country.
Labelling P&O a "rogue ferry operator" RMT general secretary Mick Lynch wrote: "It is particularly alarming that P&O Ferries is taking such a dangerous and cavalier approach to safety on this particular vessel.
"You will recall that there was a serious fire on the Bahamas registered Pride of Hull in October 2020, the consequences of which could have been far more serious if the vessel had been further out to sea when the fire started.
"To cut corners on fire safety and lifeboat training on a vessel with that recent record is unforgiveable.
"P&O Ferries clearly have a strategy of putting ships to sea regardless of the cost. I am therefore calling for you to detain the Pride of Hull now that it has arrived in the UK."
Mr Lynch said the Maritime and Coastguard agency (MCA) should reflect on the fact P&O Ferries have “broken our employment laws” and “they now pose an intolerable threat to life and maritime safety."
He added: "It is now clearer than ever that P&O is a rogue ferry operator. We strongly urge the government to take over these essential ferry operations and reinstate the experienced crew who were so disgracefully sacked from their jobs on the Pride of Hull and other P&O ferries on 17th March."
The full list of the deficiencies uncovered on the Pride of Hull are:
• Lifesaving equipment not properly maintained and a lack of crew training in lifesaving appliances, including lifeboats.
• A lack of training in fire drills.
• Firefighting equipment not properly stored or accessible.
• Fire doors, structural integrity, and fire extinguishers below standard.
• Expired seafarer certification.