The Mancunion

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200 Manchester students cause drunken mayhem on board ferry

Manchester students run riot on ferry trip to Calais over the Easter break

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Over 200 students from Manchester drunkenly ‘trashed’ a P&O ferry trip to Calais over the Easter break.

The group, which contained around 200 students from Manchester were said to have exposed themselves in the bar of the ferry where a fight also broke out. Many of the students were said to have been “clearly drunk” before they boarded the ferry.

The Spirit of France ferry had approximately 1,559 passengers including four coaches in which students from Manchester were travelling. After fights broke out in the bar all non-university passengers, which was said to have included young families, were removed from the bar and taken to what is usually an exclusive lounge on the ferry so that they were “out of harm’s way”.

A P&O spokeswoman said the behaviour of the students was “wholly unacceptable” and cited smashed glasses and overturned furniture as part of the damage caused.  P&O reported the event to Dover police and said that it would not be transporting any of the students on the return leg of their journey. She also added “Customers and staff on board the ship were appalled by the students’ aggressive and lewd conduct, which should be stamped out by the authorities.”

The incident received coverage in most national media outlets and it was originally reported that the University’s skiing club SKUM may have been responsible, however they have denied this saying that they had returned from their Easter trip in Austria one week before the incident had taken place on April 1. The BBC reported that students were actually travelling to Lloret de Mar in Spain.

It was also reported that the students managed to set ashtrays alight, even though there are would be no ashtrays on board the ferries due to the smoking ban in public and working places.

The students were said to have returned to the UK via a ferry from Dunkirk owned by a different company.

A spokesman for the University of Manchester released the following statement, “We remain in dialogue with P&O and have offered to cooperate in any way we can to identify students who may have been involved in any criminal activity on the vessel.

“To date we have not received any evidence from P&O which identifies any of our students.”

Manchester Metropolitan University have said that they are still working with P&O and investigating the incident. They also said that if they can find evidence of misbehaviour they would be able to ‘invoke a strong code of conduct’.