No freight ferry cover for Isle of Man Steam Packet

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The Steam Packet ferry company has been unable to find a replacement vessel to cover freight journeys while the Ben-My-Chree is in dry dock.

The ferry is scheduled to have repair work between 16 and 18 December for the re-fit of a bow thrust unit.

The company had planned to charter an extra vessel during the work.

But Steam Packet Chief Executive Mark Woodward said the company due to provide a replacement "has itself been beset by technical and weather issues".

"As a result, they do not feel able to release a freighter to us," he said.

'Severe weather'

The company is making extra arrangements for transporting freight in the days leading up to the weekend.

"We are now planning to schedule additional Manannan trips on 14 and 15 December for passengers and cars. This is to free up Ben-My-Chree vehicle deck space to provide additional freight capacity in advance of the weekend," Mr Woodward said.

"However, given the continuing and consistent severe weather forecasts, all sailings will remain subject to change and may be revised."

All sailings to and from the Isle of Man on 13 December have been cancelled due to the severe weather.

The 02:15 GMT journey on 14 December from Heysham to Douglas has also been cancelled.

Further details can be obtained from the Isle of Man Steam Packet website.

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