At least thirteen members of a P&O’s cross-Channel ferry have been suspended after producing ‘non-negative’ urine samples in random drugs tests.
The members of the 104 crew on board the roll-on/roll-off ferry, Pride of Canterbury, were randomly tested at sea on two crossings last week by the company.
P&O later informed the Port of Dover Police the shocking test results and an investigation has also been launched regarding the incident.
“As part of routine drugs testing of our crews, 13 individuals on the Pride of Canterbury recorded non-negative tests, which have now been sent for further analysis,” a P&O Ferries spokesman was quoted in media reports as saying.
“P&O Ferries operates a zero tolerance policy towards substance abuse and any employees not complying with it will be dismissed,” he added.
Media reports suggested some of those tested positive was working in the decking department of the ferry.
The company said the tests were conducted during a number of crossings between Dover and Calais over a four hour period. “No substances were found but Port of Dover Police have been routinely informed,” P&O Ferries stated.
However, there was no information available on the type of drugs they used or the dosage consumed.
According the Transport and Works Act 1992, the use of drugs and alcohol by crew working in certain transport jobs is a criminal offence in the UK.
In September 2013, P&O Ferries’ five crew members were suspended after reports of alleged violation of drug rules.
Launched in 1991, the Pride of Canterbury stared operating on P&O’s cross Channel route in 2003.
The vessel made news in 2014 after a fire broke out on the ferry, which was carrying more than 300 passengers, en route from Dover to northern France. The passengers on board had disembarked without any causality.
Reference: The Sun/ Daily Mail