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DFDS Seaways Supports European Maritime Response Group

DFDS Seaways hosted four Maritime Incident Response Groups (MIRGs) from the UK, Holland, France and Belgium (18 June), as they tested the ability of their teams’ response to crisis incidents at sea in a large scale exercise onboard PRINCESS SEAWAYS.

The MIRGs comprised fire fighter teams from Kent (UK), Zeeland (NL), Ghent, Antwerp, Beveren (BE), Pas de Calais and the French Navy (FR).

The exercise was the culmination of the European Interreg IV A 2 Seas project MIRG EU; a two and a half year venture designed to create international specialist teams trained to respond to incidents, including fire rescue and evacuation, at sea. The MIRGs have worked together to create an agreed best practice approach to tackling incidents at sea, including a single training and operational programme.

This programme was tested yesterday in an exercise scenario where the teams were confronted with a simulation of a fire onboard the ship. The ship sailed from IJmuiden after discharging her passengers and cargo from Newcastle, to a position approximately 10 miles from the port and returned in time to load again for Newcastle in the evening.p>

Thomas Mørk, Vice President, Marine Standards at DFDS, commented: “The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance to us, and we hold regular training exercises for our crew and staff to ensure they are able to respond to any incident at sea or on shore.

“Part of this training includes working closely with the fire and rescue services, who play an integral part in any incident at sea. We were delighted to be able to support the MIRGs by hosting this important event on one of our cruise ferries, as we believe it is crucial that all parties are able to train and test their response plans in a realistic environment.”

Steve Demetriou, Director of Major Projects and Resilience at Kent Fire & Rescue Service, commented: “We are delighted that DFDS is supporting the MIRG EU project and promoting a capability that helps to make the sea a safer place in which to work and travel. Fire remains one of the top three causes of loss for marine vessels in the world fleet so it is really important that a ship’s crew and operational firefighters are able to work together to mitigate its effects, especially whilst vessels are out at sea”.

DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships. In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Harwich to Esbjerg, Newcastle to Amsterdam, Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Havre.

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For media enquiries contact:

Caroline Walker or Chelsey Palmer on 01732 779087 / dfdspr@westgatecomms.com


Notes to Editors

About DFDS Seaways

DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.

DFDS Seaways prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Harwich to Esbjerg, Newcastle to Amsterdam, Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Havre.

DFDS Seaways has been named the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last two years (2011-12), as well as ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ at the prestigious 2012 World Travel Awards. It was also the only recommended ferry operator nominated by Which? Travel (2011).

DFDS Seaways operates up to 44 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes and two daily services on the Portsmouth to Le Havre crossing. It also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam and up to four crossings a week between Harwich and Esbjerg in Denmark. In addition, the DFDS Seaways network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries. For further information about DFDS Seaways, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit www.dfds.co.uk.