The Secretary of State for Transport is to open the new Carnival UK Operations Communications Centre.

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP will open the new centre at Carnival House in Southampton. The centre for P&O Cruises and Cunard will go live at noon on Monday.

The operations centre provides a single point of contact for the ten ships in the fleet so operational issues and incidents can be communicated.

The centre is manned all year round to ensure a response can be made at any time – day or night.

The centre will receive and log reports and incidents in a database; capture, collect and distribute information and ensure a response is made; coordinate a central approach from the office; and act as a support mechanism for the fleet.

It is equipped to monitor weather, ship stability, ship positions and replay VDR recordings.

The centre is manned by six fleet support officers are from a deck or navigation background. In addition a marine and nautical manager and marine manager will support the team during normal working hours.