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Mechanical issue leaves P&O Ferries vessel adrift

Photo: ITF P&O-ITF.jpg
P&O Ferries’ European Causeway spent hours adrift in the Irish Sea, reportedly due to a "mechanical issue".

The ferry, which serves the Larne-Cairnryan route between Northern Ireland and Scotland, eventually made its way to its destination under its own power.

European Causeway left Cairnryan at midday and experience difficulty at around 1300 hrs, according to reports.

A P&O spokesperson said: “Following a temporary mechanical issue, the European Causeway is now continuing on its scheduled journey to the Port of Larne under its own propulsion, with local tugs on standby, where it will discharge its passengers and cargo as planned.”

P&O Ferries said there were not reported injuries, that relevant authorities had been informed and that a full independent investigation would be undertaken once European Causeway was in dock.

'There are no reported injuries on board and all the relevant authorities have been informed. Once in dock a full independent investigation will be undertaken.'

P&O Ferries has been in the UK spotlight since it sacked 800 of its seafarers in a bid to replace them with cheap agency workers, a move that has generated consistent negative press for the company and brought it into conflict with the UK government and unions.

European Causeway failed a Port State Control inspection on March 25 and was released on April 8 after reinspection.

General secretary of the RMT union Mick Lynch said: "The reports of the European Causeway drifting in water off Larne having lost all power are deeply concerning, not least for the agency crew and passengers onboard.

"P&O and their pay masters in Dubai are no longer capable of running a safe service and should be stripped of the licence to operate their ships.”