ITV television broadcast this video to a nationwide audience in the U.K. yesterday about the plight of the Fearnside family who lost their son, Richard (photo left), at sea from a ferry, the Pride of Kent.
The ferry is operated by P&O Ferries. The ferry line does not have any automatic man overboard systems or even surveillance cameras on its ferries.
In the U.S., virtually all cruise lines have many hundreds of surveillance cameras throughout their cruise ships. Some U.S. based cruise lines (but not many) also have automatic man overboard systems which send an alarm to the bridge when passengers or crew members go overboard.
I sent an open letter to P&O Ferries CEO, Helen Deeble (photo below right), which she ignored.
It is amazing to me that P&O does not have such basic safety systems in place.
P&O responded to the ITV program by saying that it is not required by law to install even a single camera on its ships. P&O has chosen to install cameras only in its duty free. Jewelry and alcohol appear to be more precious to P&O than its customers.
Watch the video about the Fearnside – P&O Ferries dispute here.
Richard’s mother, Marianne, started a petition to require P&O to install CCTV cameras on its ferries. Over 91,000 people have signed it so far. The petition is addressed to Ms.Deeble.
Click on the petition here and please sign it. You will have an opportunity to the reasons why cameras should be installed on the P&O ships.