Failure of starboard outer bow door on ro-ro passenger ferry Pride of Provence before departure from port

Location: Port of Calais, France.

Accident Investigation Report 16/2004

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken, and recommendations:

Pride of Provence.pdf (1,267.45 kb)


At 1212, on 22 February 2004, the starboard outer bow door on the P&O cross-channel ro-ro passenger ferry Pride of Provence failed as it was being closed prior to departure from the port of Calais. The vessel was rendered unseaworthy and the passengers and vehicles were disembarked.

Safety Issues

  • cracks in the hinge of the bow door had been discovered 6 days earlier and had been inspected by the company technical department, a Class surveyor and a ship repair yard. Daily inspections were carried out by ship’s staff, but the vessel continued to operate without a detailed examination of the cracks and without any operational limitations particularly with regard to weather conditions

  • the vessel had suffered previous cracking to the starboard bow door support structure, and that the starboard door made contact with the “cowcatcher” framework when opened

  • neither the vessel owner nor the Classification Society for the vessel had carried out effective investigations into the cause of the cracking

  • early in the investigation, MAIB was advised that hydraulically operated locking wedges had been removed from the door structure some years before the incident by a previous owner, but neither Lloyd’s Register nor P&O Ferries had been aware of this fact prior to the incident


As a result of their own and the MAIB investigation, P&O Ferries Ltd and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping have initiated measures to prevent similar accidents in the future. Action has also been taken by the MCA. Recommendations arising from the MAIB investigation have been addressed to P&O Ferries Ltd, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, IACS and the bow door manufacturer.

This report was published in December 2004.

Published 23 January 2015