Thanet Council missed a 30-minute window to seize the bankrupt TransEuropa Ferries’ chartered vessel Ostend Spirit in the Port of Ramsgate last year. One day later, TransEuropa suspended operations and on 25 April went into administration, owing the council £3.4 million in unpaid port fees.
The council had the right under the Harbours Act 1964 to detain any vessel at Ramsgate port in respect of unpaid charges. Legal advisers suggested that if such action was taken while Ostend Spirit was in port it would have caused TransEuropa to cease to trade.
Ostend Spirit, the former Pride of Calais (1987/26,443gt), was reclaimed by owners P&O and moved to Tilbury before sale for demolition at Aliaga, Turkey. A dramatic video on social media sites showed the vessel being driven up onto the beach in Turkey.