Ferry firm backs decision to allow armed marshals

Brittany Ferries' Mont St Michel

Picture: Tony Weaver

Submitted August 2016 PPP-160108-212839001
Brittany Ferries' Mont St Michel Picture: Tony Weaver Submitted August 2016 PPP-160108-212839001
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A DECISION to allow armed French sea marshals to patrol in British territorial waters has been welcomed by Portsmouth-based Brittany Ferries.

It comes after five months during which the marshals have been helicoptered on board its vessels when they arrived in French and international zones.

Mike Bevens, group commercial director at Brittany Ferries, said: ‘We are delighted that agreement has been reached.

‘Point-to-point sea marshaling is a welcome step forward and will be a further reassurance to our passengers.’

In August the first sea marshal drop took place aboard a Brittany Ferries ship en route from Portsmouth to Caen.

Since then regular unannounced helicopter drops and armed patrols have taken place aboard services operating on all the company’s French-flagged vessels.

The agreement means that armed French sea marshals can now operate in UK waters.

Personnel may now get on a one port and travel with the ship and its passengers for the duration of the journey, rather than having to be helicoptered onto and off the ship in international waters.