UK Maritime Agency is to look into Liberation sailings

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CONCERNS over Condor Liberation's suitability for sailing in the English Channel are to be follwed up by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, it has emerged.

Following a string of poor reviews and criticism over how the new £50m. trimaran sails, the agency said it would speak to Condor Ferries and the flag state of the vessel, which is the Bahamas.

The news follows yesterday's emergency meeting between the island's External Transport Group and the ferry operator following the public concern as well as frequent delays.

Its group chairman, Commerce and Employment minister Kevin Stewart, is expected to make a statement regarding yesterday's talks during the States meeting this morning and Condor said it would not comment before that statement was released.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said that where a foreign-flagged ship visited United Kingdom ports, it had a responsibility as the 'Port State' Authority.

'This includes inspection, and intervening where necessary to apply control measures,' he said. 'The High Speed Craft Code also provides for consultation with the flag state with respect to operational conditions associated with the operation of a high-speed craft.

'We will therefore follow up this matter with the flag state and the owners, to address the concerns being raised.'

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