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Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.
Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.

News 2014 Apr-Aug Newest stories first. For up to the minute news visit the Facebook page or view the newsfeed on the left.

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In an ever deteriorating situation at the port of Calais, approximately one hundred migrants attempted a mass boarding of two ferries, prior to their departure for Dover. The migrants stormed the port boundary and in two attempts, tried unsucessfully to board the P&O ferry "Spirit of Britain" and also MFL's Berlioz on the same day. Rapid action by crews on both vessels ensured that riot police were able to round them up and detain them. Loading ramps at the port were raised and doors on the ferries were sealed as the migrants breached fences and ran through the port towards the berths. The Spirit of Britain was delayed by around forty-five minutes as the port and services to Dover returned to normal.

Berlioz arriving at Dover following the incident.




Many thanks to P&O Ferries-the UK's leading ferry operator, for their kind donation of a charity raffle prize. The prize is for a car and nine passengers on the Dover-Calais route and is valid until 31.08.15

(subject to terms and conditions).

The raffle takes place this Sunday 31st August at Crickstock and will be raising vital funds for the RNLI here in Dover. There are many more raffle prizes on the day too. 

Crickstock is a fun music and entertainment event at the Cricketers Public House, River, with bands, a bbq and much more.


Thanks once again to P&O Ferries- the UK's leading ferry operator for supporting this event.

For more details visit


Currently in lay up at Tilbury, Ex Dover vessel European Seaway is expected to return to more windfarm work soon.


P&O's Spirit of Britain contacted the fendering on 9 Berth on Saturday 2nd August, after being caught in a tidal surge during berthing, which caused her to be temporarily withdrawn from service to enable repairs to a hole above the waterline to be effected. She subsequently re-entered service and repairs to the berth were completed soon afterwards. Minimum delays were experienced when one considers the busy time of the year, a fact which underlines the efficiency of both P&O, who increased sailings of fleet mate Pride of Burgundy and rapid repairs by contractors organised by the Port of Dover. 

More photos below:

Damage to the starboard stern quarter.
Spirit of Britain alongside Cruise Terminal 1 on Sunday morning.
Repairs to 9 Berth being carried out on Monday.


Dover Lifeboat City of London II speeds across the harbour after reports are received from a visiting yachtsman of a possible body in the sea just outside the port. A search was conducted by the Harbour Patrol Launch and the range safety vessel Smit Romney which was returning to the port from range patrol duty. Dover Sea Safari's Dover Explorer was also briefly called to assist in the search but returned to port with her passengers soon afterwards. Following an extensive search by the lifeboat, nothing was found and she too returned to her station.

Of interest is the fact that a Leatherback Turtle has been spotted locally so this may have been what the yachtsman actually sighted. 

More French chic........

Text courtesy of JFA Yachts, France.
WindQuest is a new custom yacht that was built to the highest standards by JFA Yachts France. More space than many 125' (38m) sailing yachts. Big windows and on deck master suite provide motor yacht level comfort. WindQuest is an excellent performing yacht so you can experience the fun of sailing with comfort and ample space for relaxing.
LENGTH 85ft (25.9m) 
BEAM 39ft (11.9m) 
DRAFT 7ft 6in (2.3m)
DESIGNER Marc Lombard
CREW Captain Drew Meyers & Chef Mr. Robin Thompson Square + 2 REFIT 
SPEED 10kts / 12kts 
FLAG Cayman Islands
ENGINES Two 380 hp Yanmar diesel main engines

4 cabins total. Master cabin on main deck with panoramic views and access to private bow owner's terrace. The master cabin has king bed, sitting area with sofa, chairs and coffee table and desk with work station. Down a few steps to the left is the master bathroom with 5 head steam shower, private WC and duel sinks and spacious closets. From the living room on the left down a few steps to two queen bed cabins. Each cabin has good closets and private bath with 5 head shower.One of the guest cabins can be converted to a study. From the living room down a few steps to the right to the forth queen cabin with private bath with 5 head shower. The crew quarters and galley are separated from the guest areas. Galley and two crew cabins to the right and one crew cabin on the left. Very big living room with 12 person dining area, bar, couches and chairs. Shaded aft deck with 10 person dining and lounging. Stairs up to huge fly bridge sun and shade deck with lounging and dining for 10 and control station.
Charter rates start at a mere 65 000 US Dollars per week..........!



The Border Force and Dover Lifeboat have intercepted illegal immigrants in the channel this morning.

The nine immigrants were rescued after the RIB in which they were travelling ran out of fuel off St Margaret's Bay. They were originally spotted by a passing P&O ferry and were subsequently landed at the lifeboat station and taken away in a prison van after being interviewed on the quayside by Border Force staff.

The RIB in which they were attempting to cross the channel.
Border Force cutter "Searcher" leaving the port this morning.

26.06.14 Sailing into the sunset.......


MFL gets the boot? The final ruling on the controversial MFL Dover to Calais service will result in it's closure within six months. See previous news items for the full story.


The executive delinquents have been at it again.......

Welcome to arguably what is probably Dover's most dangerous roundabout. I refer to the junction of Union Street and the A20, one of the two key routes serving the port of Dover. We are used to seeing dot matrix signs such as these on our motorways usually displaying some pointlessly anal message that merely serves to distract you further from driving. "Take extra care when towing" is a great example. If you need to be told that, you shouldn't be towing surely. These signs should be used only when there is an incident or diversion not because some halfwit on fifty thousand a year hasn't got anything better to do.

And so we come to this masterpiece of unwanted mobile roadside clutter and it's useful message telling us all to "Look twice think bike save a life. WTF!?!?!? You're sh****** me right??? Given it's location surely the message "Give way at roundabouts" suitably displayed in any number of Eastern European languages would have been more useful than this inane drivel. Time and time again we encounter foreign trucks who have no intention of giving way, forcing their way through. It's not a visibility problem it's ignorance pure and simple. But, think about this for a moment. On leaving the eastern docks this is the first roundabout that does not have a lane enabling trucks to keep moving on the nearside, such as the  York Street and Townwall Street roundabout for example. So if we combine bad planning, bad driving and someone with not enough work to do in the office, this is what you get. A completely wasted opportunity to get the message across. I was in France recently and I am delighted to report that I didn't see one Eastern European truck further than fifty kilometres south of Calais. Why? Beacuse it costs them a bloody fortune to use the motorways, that's why and there aren't any discarded bottles of piss littering the hard shoulder either. Wake up and smell the coffee Britain.

A typical scene at the roundabout....
Saga Sapphire runs astern and passes Sea Cloud II during her departure.


I saw three ships.......

A busy day for Dover Cruise Terminal. Three ships today, The beautiful Sea Cloud II, Saga Sapphire and the elegant Black Watch.

Fred Olsen cruise vessel Black Watch arriving just after 1700 02.06.14



Not a particularly pleasant piece of news, but I report on all news, good, bad or indifferent.


On a recent crossing made by P&Os Pride of Canterbury the onboard services team had more than their average shift duties to perform. It appears that travelling that day were a group of people, one of whom thought it appropriate to relieve themselves on the carpet adjacent to the gaming machines. We're not talking number ones here, they simply did so all over the carpet leaving their triumphant steaming glory to be cleared up by staff to avoid further discomfort to the rest of the passengers. The incident was reported accordingly. This news item has been edited in the light of further information received and I apologise for not checking my sources thoroughly before publishing the original piece.



Disney Magic is set to return to Dover in 2015. She will operate a series of cruises from the port to the Baltic in July and Barcelona in September. 


The Port of Dover is to recruit a Community Director. The post is expected to commence during the summer.




Farewell My Ferry Link, or is it just Au Revoir....?

The lastest development in the MFL / Eurotunnel operating debate:

The ruling looks set to judge the Eurotunnel stake share in cross channel traffic unacceptable. The ruling will see MFL's presence on the lucrative short sea service to the continent ended. A six month notice of service will be issued to alleviate problems and honour bookings all ready made.

With a current share of more than 50% in cross channel traffic this will be a bitter blow to "Eurofunnel" but one that is welcome news to competitors DFDS and P&O. 

What next, one wonders, for the three ships currently employed on the Dover to Calais service? 


The 75 feet luxury private motor yacht Rum Jungle on the visitor's pontoon yesterday.

More details at


Dieppe Seaways arriving at the port recently.





Fire crews from Kent attended the DFDS vessel Dieppe Seaways this afternoon following a fire in the engine room. Several members of the crew have been injured together with fire crew personnel attending the incident. Ten people have been admitted to hospital syffering smoke inhalation. All passengers and freight were evacuated safely. The Marine Unit of Kent Fire Service attended the vessel together with emergency tenders from Kent Stations. Port tug DHB Doughty also attended the incident which is now being dealt with. DFDS have cancelled two sailings as a result. The vessel previously saw service with Seafrance as their Seafrance Moliere. She is due to be withdrawn from DFDS sailings later this year and move to the Irish Sea following her purchase by Stena. More pictures from today, below:


Our thoughts are with those involved.

DHB Doughty makes her way to the casualty.
Fire Launch 48 crosses the harbour.
Fire crews standby on the Hoverpad whilst further units attend the Eastern Docks.
Kent Air Ambulance landing at the port during the ongoing incident.
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