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Return of P&O Ferries European Seaway to Larne Next Week Doubtful

Summary: Following an incident earlier in the week it looks unlikely that European Seaway will be returning to Larne next week. This leaves P&O Ferries with a problem of how to cover European Causeway's dry docking.

Ferry Reportedly Involved in Incident on Monday

P&O’s Freight Ro-Pax EUROPEAN SEAWAY now looks unlikely to be returning to Larne next week as posted on Tuesday morning.  The 1991-built vessel reportedly had a small fire in one of her generator rooms on Sunday Night/Monday whilst moored at Dunkerque.  It is not yet clear what damage occurred to the vessel but no injuries have been reported.  The local fire brigade posted to Facebook on Monday that they had assisted the crew in extinguishing the blaze. Photos of the aftermath posted on Facebook have since been deleted.

EUROPEAN SEAWAY had been due to release EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY so she could return to dry dock after her planned docking earlier this year was cut short.  It is understood that EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY must dry dock during early September and that this cannot be postponed. P&O do not currently appear to be taking passenger bookings on the Larne to Cairnryan route from September 3rd. Last night, EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER was the the only vessel showing on the booking engine from September 3rd until Monday 9th when ‘Seaway’ returned to the timetable, but as above, this has since changed. Availability will likely continue to evolve as P&O adjust their bookings to match capacity. It does appear, however, that the service may go to a single-ship operation until another vessel (such as ‘Seaway’) is available.

P&O Ferries EUROPEAN SEAWAY in service on the Larne to Cairnryan route during June 2019. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
P&O Ferries EUROPEAN SEAWAY in service on the Larne to Cairnryan route during June 2019. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

The first time EUROPEAN SEAWAY visited Northern Ireland was in 2017 as refit relief vessel for EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER and EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY. She returned as refit relief vessel at Larne during 2019 when she also carried ‘tourist’ passengers and cars. She left for layup at Dunkirk during mid-July but until now has not been required again either on her usual Dover to Calais route or at Larne. 

Updated: 30.08.19 (amended title)

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