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MEP calls for CCTV on cross-Channel ferries following disappearance in 2013 of Whitstable’s Richard Fearnside

PUBLISHED: 09:35 05 October 2017

Richard Fearnside

Richard Fearnside

Archant

Mr Fearnside went missing while heading back to Dover

Richard Fearnside Richard Fearnside

An MEP has called for the installation of CCTV cameras on all passenger ferries, following the disappearance on a cross-Channel vessel of a man from Whitstable.

Richard Fernside was 30 when he failed to arrive in Dover after taking a ferry from Calais in May 2013.

It is feared he fell overboard but with his remains not found, his family have been left with unanswered questions.

They have long since campaigned for CCTV on passenger decks - something which the ferry firms have resisted claiming it would not be possible to monitor all cameras in real time.

But now Ukip MEP for the West Midlands, James Carver, has called for their introduction.

He made the appeal while speaking in the European Parliament in support of the family Mr Fearnside, from Kent, who was returning from a holiday on the P&O Pride of Kent ship when he disappeared.

Mr Carver said: “The lack of CCTV cameras on the ferry passenger decks left his family with many unanswered questions, not knowing whether Richard suffered an accident, took his own life or was even possibly pushed over board.

“His name is added to an increasing list of missing ferry and cruise ship passengers and I am humbled to be able to support his family’s campaign for mandatory CCTV and thermal imaging cameras on all ferries operating from British and EU ports.”

Mr Carver is urging people to sign the family’s change.org petition which has so far attracted nearly 100,000 signatures.

He also called on international institutions to act accordingly on “this important matter”.

“All the bereaved ask for is a degree of closure, surely that is not unreasonable,” added Mr Carver.

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