Following intense public pressure brought by Richard Fearnside’s mother Marianne, P&O Ferries has posted comments on its Facebook page stating that it will be discussing the use of CCTV cameras with the "wider shipping community" and will be raising this issue with the "UK and European Maritime safety authorities."   

Don’t believe it. This is a stall tactic.  P&O Ferries can install CCTV anytime it wants. It doesn’t need to discuss this with rival ferry companies or obtain permission from any governmental authority.

I have attended over a half-dozen U.S. Congressional hearings over the past 8 years which have addressed over-board passengers from the U.S. based cruise lines. Cruise lines don’t like to be told what to do. They resist man over-board systems at every turn. They drag their feet. They say anything and everything to delay. I’ve seen every cruise line trick in the book. The cruise lines first say "It’s not practical."  When they lose that fight, they change their tune: "No new laws are necessary because we will voluntarily agree to install man over-board systems," but they don’t. After the lies are revealed and legislation is passed, the cruise lines will try and change the law. When that doesn’t work, the cruise lines don’t comply with the law.

If the U.K. ferries are like the U.S. cruise lines, expect a long fight.

Today, I received a mocking tweet on Twitter from a self-proclaimed U.K. ferry executive, Paul D. Paul WoodburyWoodbury:

"A USA ‘maritime lawyer’ on P&O Ferries! CCTV throughout is not a practical proposal. They’re ferries not TV studios."

To me, Mr. Woodbury demonstrates the U.K. ferry business interests at their worst. Disrespectful to the dead. Arrogant. Flippant. And more interested in bottom line corporate profits than human life.

Mr. Woodbury’s resume indicates that he worked for P&O Ferries for four years and "played a key role in safety management."   

This is the ferry lines’ mind set. Be prepared for it. They don’t care about you or your family.  Your pain and sorrow have no place on their profit & loss statements. They want it done as cheaply as possible. They are shameless. And they won’t do the right thing until you force them to.


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Photo Credit: P&O Ferries (top); LinkedIn (bottom).

  • William Dean

    My Name is William Dean, I am a Local IT Technician dealing with a lot of small to large businesses.

    I would just like to make a point, that we install and set-up CCTV for businesses and the cost is minimal. Why cant a multi million pound industry afford such small costs to have these installed? Do they not care for the passengers safety and well-being? What about their staff, would t hey rather not know if a member of staff is injured or overboard?

    I just cant believe that in the Big brother world we live in they are opposing such a ridiculous fight against something that should be regulation.

    Perhaps its because the Ferry companies realize that with no evidence, they cannot be the ones to blame for any mishaps or faulty equipment that may be the cause of such tragedy.

  • John Goldsmith

    First thing first. For any corporation, paying out claims for injury or worse is far easier to do than retrofitting, modernizing and upgrading systems. Those fall under capital expenses while a payout falls under insurance. That is why they have insurance.Large insurance corporations compete for the shipping lines business to improve their bottom line and therfore satisfy the shareholders. Reductions for Capital expenses for the ship owners improves the bottom line and again satisfies the shareholders. Nowhere in any corporations finacials are there clauses or statements of concern for the customer or end user of a product.
    Loss of life,defective systems or incomplete and substandard procedures are factored into budgets. Coupled with lip service Human Resource departments and customer satisfaction surveys and the “we Care” advertising, are just make-up.All corporations follow this process. Let me know when you find one that really does care.