Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man to Liverpool ferry sailings cancelled

Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry queues
Image caption All Manannan sailings between Douglas and Liverpool are suspended until at least Wednesday

Hundreds of people have been stranded on the Isle of Man as sailings between Douglas and Liverpool are cancelled while repairs to the ferry take place.

The Steam Packet Company said sailings on the fast craft Manannan ferry have been suspended because of damage to its jet system caused by sea debris.

The firm said dive teams have spent three nights trying to repair it.

It said all Manannan sailings between Douglas and Liverpool are suspended until at least Wednesday.

Passengers have been complaining on the Steam Packet Company's Facebook page of being unable to get through to the firm's customer services telephone line.

The firm replied it was trying to transfer passengers to sailings between Douglas and Heysham on the Ben-my-Chree ferry and provide coach terminals between Heysham and Liverpool for foot passengers.

Chief executive Mark Woodward said: "We are doing all that we can to restore normal operations as soon as possible but as always passenger safety is our first priority."

He said it was going to use its back-up vessel - the MV Arrow - so the Ben-my-Chree could be "devoted to passenger traffic to help minimise disruption".

Mr Woodward apologised for the inconvenience but said sea debris was "a growing problem and one which is entirely beyond our control".

Image copyright Manxscenes.com
Image caption The catamaran returned to service on 26 March for the summer season

Callum Greenwood, 22, from Manchester, said he was one of 48 students from the University of Leeds who were competing in this weekend's Isle of Man Easter Festival of Running caught up in the disruption.

He should have been sailing back to Liverpool earlier but has been booked to sail to Heysham on Tuesday instead.

"The Isle of Man Steam Packet have told me they won't compensate me for a hotel or food as it is not a technical problem.

"I was due in work tomorrow and I have had to cancel it so I have lost a day's pay too."

He said delays on ferry to Douglas on Friday had resulted in many runners missing races in the running event.

"It took eight hours to get here [instead of two hours and 45 minutes] which meant my team had no chance of getting placed in the 10K."

Last June, one of four engines on the Manannan was damaged by discarded fishing gear during TT week.

The catamaran returned to service on 26 March for the summer season with 48 additional sailings to Liverpool.

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