Ambulances rush onboard Plymouth ferry after ‘massive’ food poisoning incident

Ambulances rush onboard Plymouth ferry after ‘massive’ food poisoning incident

A picture of Brittany Ferries' Pont-Aven.

Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 08/08/2023

- 12:41

Updated: 10/08/2023

- 15:55

Brits on Plymouth ferry diverted to France after crew fall ill

Hundreds of Brits on an overnight ferry from Spain to Plymouth have been forced to dock in France after a reported food poisoning emergency on board.

A passenger on the Pont-Aven ferry told GB News that “dozens of ambulances” were waiting on the quayside when the ferry pulled into Brest, France this morning.

The ferry, which has a capacity of 2,400 passengers and 650 cars, departed Santander in Spain at 6pm last night, but passengers told GB News that they were stunned to see the ferry urgently diverted to France this morning.

The state services in Finistère, in the north-west of France, released a statement this morning confirming that there was a suspected incident of food poisoning on the Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven ferry.

A photograph of ambulances taken from on board the ferry.


It said that 34 crew members with symptoms of food poisoning had been identified since last night and that no passengers had been affected.

A Briton on the ferry, who asked to remain anonymous, told this broadcaster that they had received “no information” from the crew or the local authorities about the incident.

“Dozens of stretchers were rushed onto the ferry and several ambulances left the port with flashing blue lights. This is clearly a massive medical emergency,” they said.

They added: “There is no information from the crew, which is fuelling speculation on board as ambulances keep leaving with flashing lights.”

On the current situation, they said: "The Brits are now manning the bar and the police are now arriving en masse.”

A spokesperson for Brittany Ferries told GB News: "Early this morning a number of crew members on board Brittany Ferries’ Pont-Aven reported being unwell.

"As a precaution, the ship - currently on its scheduled sailing from Santander to Plymouth --- diverted to the port of Brest to allow shore-based medical teams to carry out a full medical evaluation.

"The diversion followed consultation with - and direction of - the French Centre de Consultation Médicale Maritime (CCMM, Maritime Medical Advisory Centre) based in Purpan, Toulouse, and the French coastguard Centres régionaux opérationnels de surveillance et de secours.

"The ship arrived in Brest at 11:30 French local time, following a passenger announcement.

"Pont-Aven is currently carrying 982 passengers and 144 crew members. The ship departed Santander at 1810 local time on Monday and was scheduled to arrive in Plymouth at 1530 this today.

"No passengers are reported to be unwell.

"At this stage we do not know whether affected crew members will disembark in Brest, or at what time the ship will be able to continue its journey to Plymouth.

"We apologise to passengers affected by the diversion and delay, and would like to thank them for their patience.

"We will release more information as soon as it becomes available."

You may like