P&O ferry faces inspection after suffering power failure in Irish Sea

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency will inspect the European Causeway before it next leaves the port of Larne.

P&O ferry European Causeway faces inspection after suffering power failure in Irish Sea ITV

A P&O ferry that went adrift after losing power in the Irish Sea will be subject to a full inspection before it next leaves the port of Larne in Northern Ireland.

The European Causeway, which can carry 410 passengers, was adrift five miles off the coast of County Antrim for more than an hour on Tuesday afternoon.

It finally docked at Larne harbour at around 4pm after regaining power and no injuries were reported.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency will now inspect the European Causeway, which had to be guided to Larne on Tuesday due to a mechanical issue with the ship.

A spokesperson for the MCA said: “Our surveyors are carrying out a full inspection of P&O Ferries vessel European Causeway. This follows the mechanical failure while it was at sea yesterday.

“It is important to note that this does not mean the ferry is under detention but will be inspected before it returns to full service.

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

The MCA said it generally follows up all issues reported on passenger vessels to ensure the safety of those onboard the vessel. 

The European Causeway departed Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway just before noon and was due to arrive at Larne Harbour at 2pm.

But ship tracking websites listed the ship as “not under command”, which is reserved for use when a vessel is “unable to manoeuvre as required by these rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel”.

A spokesperson for P&O Ferries said the European Causeway travelled to Larne “under its own propulsion”.

The 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.

“There are no reported injuries onboard and all the relevant authorities have been informed. Once in dock, a full independent investigation will be undertaken.”

The Cairnryan-Larne route has been interrupted in recent weeks after the company replaced nearly 800 seafarers with cheaper agency staff.

The European Causeway was then detained at Larne after an inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on March 25 uncovered 31 safety failings.

The ship was cleared to resume serving the route a fortnight later following another examination.

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