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Cruise liner is detained in Belfast after faults found

A cruise ship has been detained in Belfast docks by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency after officers discovered numerous faults on board.

The Italian-flagged Vistamar had sailed from Invergordon on the west coast of Scotland when it docked yesterday morning.

Surveyors boarded the 384ft long vessel to perform an inspection and identified broken or missing fire doors and failure to maintain the vessel in line with International Safety Management (ISM) code.

There were further deficiencies with the PA systems and emergency lights for liferafts were not working.

The inspection of the 1989-built ship has now been suspended pending an audit by an ISM auditor. Once this has been satisfactorily completed, MCA Surveyors will board the ship again and continue their inspection. If they feel that the deficiencies have been rectified the vessel will be allowed to carry on its passage.

Bill Bennett, surveyor in charge from the MCAs Belfast Marine Office, said: “The MCA take passenger safety extremely seriously and we will not allow vessels to traverse our waters where clearly international standards of safety are being breached.

“We apologise to any passenger who may have been inconvenienced by this action. But we hope they understand this detention has been undertaken in their best interest.”

Belfast Telegraph

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