P&O ferry Pride of Kent still grounded as it fails third inspection by surveyors

The Pride of Kent has undergone a third safety inspection

P&O ferry The Pride of Kent has failed an inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for a third time.

A team of surveyors boarded the grounded ship today (3 May) at the request of P&O Ferries, but this afternoon it was revealed the vessel had failed yet another safety test.

The Pride of Kent was detained for the first time on March 28 and failed an inspection by the MCA for a second time on April 13.

It's been stuck in the Port of Dover since the company sacked 800 of its staff on March 17.

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

P&O had previously hoped to resume sailings on the Dover to Calais route in mid-April with the Pride of Kent and the Spirit of Britain, but both ships failed inspections by the MCA after a "number of deficiencies" were found.

The Spirit of Britain has since been inspected again and cleared to sail. 

A total of 23 failures were originally picked up on the Spirit of Britain by Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) inspectors on April 11. It was cleared to sail 11 days later.

Although a full timetable will resume on Wednesday, May 4, there is limited availability for passengers, as the Spirit of Britain is the only ship which is currently operational.

The Spirit of Britain has been cleared to resume sailing

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the Transport Select Committee on Wednesday that he ordered the MCA to scrutinise the ships "with a fine-tooth comb".

P&O Ferries came under fire after it was revealed some of its new crew were being paid under £4 per hour.

Mr Shapps has announced that legislation forcing ferry operators using UK ports to pay seafarers at least the national minimum wage of £9.50 per hour will be included in the Queen's Speech on May 10.

P&O Ferries said it would "fully welcome" measures to increase pay for all seafarers in British waters as it wants "a level playing field".