Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Hundreds stranded after Isle of Man ferry damages propeller

Fire crews from Douglas attended a call to Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Ben-My-Chree which had lost control in Douglas Harbour Image copyright Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Fire crews attended the Ben-my-Chree, which had lost control in Douglas Harbour

Hundreds of passengers were stuck on a ferry off the Isle of Man after it lost control while entering Douglas Harbour.

After damaging a propeller, the Ben-my-Chree - which had sailed from Heysham in Lancashire with 280 passengers on board - collided with the Battery Pier and a moored fishing boat.

The ferry was unable to berth for about four hours on Thursday.

Engineers have now repaired and tested the propeller system, said an Isle of Man Steam Packet Company spokesman.

'Engine died'

The 19:45 GMT sailing from Douglas to Heysham and the 02:15 return were cancelled as a result of the problems.

The company said the Ben-my-Chree will "sail as normal today, albeit with a delay to sailings throughout the day".

Friday's scheduled 08:45 sailing from Douglas to Heysham was due to depart at approximately 11:45 with the return crossing also delayed by three hours.

Evening and overnight sailings will also "suffer delays", a spokesman added.

Image copyright Not specified
Image caption The scheduled 19:45 sailing from Douglas to Heysham and the 02:15 return were cancelled

The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue said the fishing boat suffered "superficial damage".

Campbell Guy, a passenger stranded on the ferry ,said: "We were just coming into port... and the engine just kind of died."

He said it took about half an hour before passengers were given any information.

The ferry company's chief executive Mark Woodward said: "I would like to pay tribute to the on-board engineering team who have worked tirelessly through the night.

"Once again I would like to apologise to our passengers for the inconvenience."

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