French union praises swift fire action aboard Brittany Ferries vessel

9 May 2019

French CGT maritime union ecological association Mor Glaz has hailed the master and crew of Brittany Ferries’ 2004-built, 2,415-passenger capacity Pont-Aven for their swift action in containing a machine room fire that broke out while sailing from Plymouth to Santander 142km from the French coast.

The fire was extinguished within 40 minutes and there were no casualties aboard the 100% French crewed vessel, showing that 'security, frequent drills and top-level crew training is a good investment in passenger and crew safety and for the environment', the union said.

The high seas emergency salvage tug Abeille Bourbon escorted the Pont-Aven and its 766 passengers, 142 crew, 306 cars and 90 motorcycles to Brest.

The CGT has expressed its opposition to the western Channel operator's charter of the Connemara ferry under the Cyprus flag to operate its first ever direct link between Cork, Roscoff and Santander.

The Connemara since May 2018 is the only vessel in the Brittany Ferries fleet to operate as a Flag of Convenience (FoC), without a single French seafarer on board. Last year Connemara was detained by Cork Port State Control, which found 26 technical deficiencies.

Brittany Ferries is the biggest national employer of French seafarers.