More than 1,200 passengers from the luxury liner "France", which has been immobilised by its crew in the English Channel, were ferried ashore on Thursday (12 September).
AERIAL V OVER Ship at sea (2 shots)
PAN FROM Ferry terminal sign TO passengers disembarking
SV PAN Passengers on deck waiting to disembark
SV Crew members watch from deck
SV PAN Passengers disembark
SV & SCU More passengers down gangplank
Initials BB/1851 NC/JB/BB/1914
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Background: More than 1,200 passengers from the luxury liner "France", which has been immobilised by its crew in the English Channel, were ferried ashore on Thursday (12 September).
The crew members anchored the ship two miles (4 kms) off Le Havre after a crossing from New York on Wednesday.
The seamen are attempting to reverse a decision by the liner's owners to withdraw it from service next month.
A car ferry was used to take the passengers ashore from the liner. Most appeared to be in sympathy with the aims of the crew and some sang "Auld Lang Syne" as they left the liner.
The trouble stems from the fact that the ship is losing too much money. The owners, Transat, put the losses as high as 100 million francs (GBP 9,100,000) a year.
The seamen say if the France is taken out of service they will lose their jobs. The French Government says this is not the case, and positions can be found for the crew members.
The crew say they'll stay aboard until their demands for the continued operation of the France are met. The Government says it will not budge.
Meanwhile the 66,00 ton (tonne) liner, which is the longest in the world, is blocking the main entrance channel to Le Havre harbour and stopping all sizeable ships from entering. Two of France's seamen's stopping all sizeable shops form entering. Two of France's seamen's unions have called for 48-hour sympathy strike next week that would cripple the country's merchant fleet.