Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man ferry repair delays cause disruption

Ferry damage Image copyright Steam Packet Company
Image caption The Manannan catamaran is stuck on the landing stage at Liverpool until there is space for it to enter dry dock at Cammell Laird shipyard

Delays in repairing an Isle of Man ferry that hit the pier at Douglas are causing further travel disruption.

Sailings from Douglas to Liverpool and Belfast have been cancelled until Thursday at the earliest, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company said.

The ferry was due to go into the dry dock at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead on Monday morning for repairs but a lack of space means it must wait until Tuesday.

Five people were hurt in the crash.

Sailings between Douglas and Liverpool, and between Douglas and Ireland, have been cancelled throughout the Easter weekend.

'Very disappointing'

A spokesperson for the company said the dry dock was not available "as originally advised" due to "factors outside our control" as a "vessel due to depart today could not leave as scheduled".

"We must therefore wait until the dock is clear... Manannan will therefore remain on the landing stage at Liverpool for 24 hours and will enter dry dock on Tuesday afternoon."

Image copyright Manxscenes.com
Image caption The cancellations over the peak Easter period are going to continue until Thursday

He said the ferry was expected to depart from the dock at about 04:00 BST on Thursday "provided the tides are as predicted".

Mark Woodward, chief executive of the Steam Packet Company, apologised for the delay but said the time would not be wasted.

"This is very disappointing after the effort made by the company to have the vessel and all logistics in place ready for this afternoon.

"However, over the next 24 hours there is much preparation work which can still be completed in order to prepare the centre bow for repair," he said.

Marine surveyors confirmed on Saturday that Steam Packet Company proposals for repair of the Manannan were acceptable.

Sea debris caused more than £100,000 of damage to the Manannan ferry last year, putting the vessel out of action over the Easter period.

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