Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man ferry damage 'worst ever seen', says company

This shows the reversing flap, which is critical for the safe manoeuvring of the vessel and also shows evidence of heavy trauma. This equipment is fabricated from high quality 12mm thick marine grade stainless steel plate and the damage is similar on both starboard side water jets. Image copyright Steam Packet Company
Image caption The reversing flap is critical for the safe manoeuvring of the vessel

The damage caused to an Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry, which has left it unable to operate since Good Friday, is the "worst they have ever seen."

The firm said damage to the Mannanan's trim tab and water jet steering gear was caused by sea debris and will cost more than £100,000 to repair.

Chief executive Mark Woodward said it suggests something "very substantial" was ingested by the vessel.

All sailings to Liverpool have been cancelled until Friday.

A Steam Packet spokesman said they do not know exactly what caused the damage but that they do not attribute it to fishing gear.

He said: "Whatever it was got briefly trapped, causing severe vibration, and after that they noticed manoeuvring problems, then trim tab failed".

Image copyright Steam Packet Company
Image caption The damage was caused by sea debris being ingested

Mr Woodward said the scale of damage was "unprecedented."

He said it is the "worst damage the firm has ever seen" but that repair work is "progressing well."

Since 2007 there have been 17 recorded major incidents where Steam Packet vessels have been damaged.

According to the firm a P&O ferry chartered to cover the Manannan's Belfast service was itself damaged when leaving Douglas on Wednesday.

Image caption Thousands of travellers have had their plans disrupted after the cancellations

As a result they had to cancel their own sailings in order to allow repairs to take place.

Thousands of people have had their travel plans disrupted by the cancellations.

All passengers booked to travel are asked to contact the Steam Packet company to make alternative arrangements.

The company said if repairs proceed as planned, Manannan sailings to Liverpool will resume on Saturday.

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