Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Fishing gear causes ferry damage, says Steam Packet

Fishing gear, including pots and marker buoys, has caused damage to the Isle of Man ferry, the Steam Packet Company said.

The Wednesday Manannan services have been cancelled to allow for essential maintenance after recent damage.

The affected sailings are the Liverpool sailing at 15:00 BST from the Isle of Man and the 19:00 return.

A spokesman from the Steam Packet Company said fishing pots and marker buoys are a particular problem.

Passenger inconvenience

He added: "Fastcraft operate by channelling water through an underwater impeller and on several occasions these have also ingested a fishing marker buoy.

"This can damage both shaft bearings and, as happened only recently, also damage gear boxes inconveniencing many thousands of passengers and costing many hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair."

More than £1m has been spent this year on maintenance to the Manannan fastcraft.

The £18m vessel can seat 800 passengers and take 200 cars, making a single journey in two and a half hours.

Chief executive of the Steam packet Company, Mark Woodward, said: "The Isle of Man needs protected navigation routes and the co-operation of all those fishing in Manx waters to help prevent this sort of damage to our vessels and the resulting inconvenience to many thousands of passengers.

"Our fastcraft have now suffered damage on nine separate occasions in recent years as a result of fishing gear ingestion in Manx waters."

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