Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Four brief bits of ferry related news

I'm trying to clear the dozens of tab's of "interesting" things I have currently open in Firefox.

When I come across something I mean to Blog about or read later I tend to leave the website open in a Firefox tab and as the number of open tabs has now exceeded 70+ I need to try to clear things down a bit by clearing some of the Blogging backlog ....

(By the by, about a dozen of the tabs are currently open because I've been doing numerous Google searches to resolve the treacle-like performance I'm getting with my new Windows 7 upgrade ... but that's a different story and not one for now, but suffice to say that I'm having a lot of problems and I am not a happy bunny just yetawhile).

Anyway, back to the ferry items,

First up a couple of news items from BBC who reported on Celtic Link's Norman Voyager being detained in port after failing "basic safety tests" and all Portsmouth/Cherbourg crossings being cancelled as a result. There's not much detail of what the actual safety problems were, but the later BBC news item a couple of days later when the Norman Voyager was released by the safety authorities does say that it had been impounded because of problems with ".. fire safety, the watertight integrity of the vessel and staff safety training".

Slightly worrying and as a regular channel ferry user myself you kind of take for granted that the ferry company have proper safety control systems and processes in place and all the staff are well drilled with them. Memories of the capsizing of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 and all that.
Glad the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's safety inspectors were doing a thorough job; better to be safe than sorry and suspend the service until the problems were rectified.

Next up, a number of French newspapers covered the story of an 84 year old man being helicoptered off Brittany Ferries' Bretagne after complaining of chest pains when the ferry was 40 miles off the French coast.

And finally, and on a more lighter note, Kent Online covered the story of a French musician who setup his piano in Dover's Eastern Dock Travel centre and tried to busk his way to raising the £109 ferry fare he needed to take himself, his camper van and his piano back to France!

Unfortunately it seems his aspirations were greater than his playing abilities and he was soon persuaded to leave by Dover Police.

Update 24th December: Further news on the passenger airlifted from the Brittany Ferries service to Santander, reporting that he's now OK and back in home in the UK after being diagnosed with Angina. He reported that "all of a sudden I felt ill, I went to reception and they fetched a doctor, who took me to the surgery and took two electrocardiograms. The doctor looked at one of them and said, 'I'm sorry but you can't continue this voyage'". The captain then arranged a helicopter airlift to a French hospital.
Good one BF!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home