Mutiny on the Humber!
Hero ferry captain draws up his gangplanks and REFUSES to allow police or new staff to board his vessel in the port of Hull after all of his crew were sacked over Zoom
By JESSICA WARREN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 16:02 GMT, 17 March 2022 | UPDATED: 20:08 GMT, 17 March 2022
The captain of a giant P&O ferry was hailed a hero today for drawing up his gangplanks and refusing to allow police or new crewmen to board his vessel.
The captain of the Pride of Hull, understood to be Eugene Favier from The Netherlands, sealed himself and his crew inside the ferry just hours after P&0 Ferries announced mass redundancies.
It is understood that he left his ship and went to speak to P&O Ferries officials onshore about the ongoing stand-off on the Pride of Hull.
Earlier today, the company sacked 800 employees over a Zoom call. P&O Cruises – which is part of Carnival Corporation & PLC – is unrelated to P&O Ferries and not affected by today’s announcement.
The Pride of Hull normally carries a crew of 141 people aboard and is one of the biggest ferries in Europe.
It makes regular crossings between Hull and the Dutch port of Rotterdam.
Hull’s Labour MP Karl Turner said the captain had taken matters into his own hands and was now operating under maritime law to prevent anyone coming aboard.
He added that those on the ship had enough food supplies to last ‘as long as it takes’ to resolve the dispute.
He said: ‘I’m told by Gaz Jackson, who is the RMT official who is sitting in on the ship, he’s effectively locked in with the ship and the crew.
‘He’s saying the captain is refusing to allow the police to enter the ship. Members have said to me that the vessel has got enough supplies to feed the crew for as long as it takes.
‘As far as I understand in maritime law, even though that vessel is in a port, that captain is still entitled under maritime law to refuse any person onto his vessel.’
Mr Turner added that staff on the ship had been treated with ‘utter contempt’ by P&O Ferries, which is owned by Dubai-based logistics giant DP World.
He said: ‘They’re treating British ratings with utter contempt, and they’re treating the British government with utter contempt as well.
‘Boris Johnson was in Dubai yesterday.
‘I’m not having a pop at Boris Johnson, but I suspected P&O Rerries, which is owned by the state of Dubai was effectively going to sack every British rating the very next morning.’
Earlier today, P&O Ferries released a statement saying they would be making a ‘major company announcement’ to ensure the long term viability of their operations.
Its statement read: ‘To facilitate this announcement all our vessels have been asked to discharge their passengers and cargo and standby for further instructions.
‘This means we’re expecting all our ports to experience serious disruption today, so please bear with us and we will give further information in an all-colleague announcement later today.’