Ben-my-Chree back in action after bumping Douglas linkspan

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The Ben-my-Chree is back in action after undergoing swift repairs following an incident in Douglas yesterday evening (Wednesday).

The Steam Packet vessel struck the King Edward Pier Linkspan, Number 5 berth, causing a hole about four metres above the waterline.

Emergency repairs for Ben-my-Chree after striking Douglas linkspan

However, she returned to service with a freight-only sailing to Heysham mid-morning.

A Steam Packet spokesman said: ‘It was initially thought the Ben would return to service for this evening’s Douglas-Heysham sailing, but she will now operate a normal, albeit delayed, passenger and freight service for her return from Heysham this afternoon. This is expected to depart at 3.30pm, slightly later than her scheduled time of 2.15pm.

‘Manannan’s Liverpool-Douglas service departed on schedule at 11.15am, and her later sailings – the 3pm Douglas-Liverpool and 7.15pm Liverpool-Douglas – are also on schedule.

‘This evening’s Ben-my-Chree Douglas-Heysham service at 7.45pm may be delayed slightly as a consequence of her late sailing this morning, with an anticipated departure time of around 2030.

‘The Company has made every effort to contact affected passengers and freight customers to advise them of the latest revised schedule, and will continue to do so should there be any further changes.’

Steam Packet chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We managed to effect the temporary repairs to the Ben sooner than expected, which enabled her to operate a freight-only service to Heysham this morning.

‘At this stage, we do not expect there to be any impact on the Ben’s schedule during TT fortnight.’

Yesterday’s collision caused damage to the berthing fenders on Number 5 berth and the Steam Packet Company has launched an internal investigation. There were no injuries reported.

Mr Woodward said: ‘We continue to work with Department of Infrastructure to assess damage to the seaward berthing fender on the King Edward Pier and what is required in order to bring the berth back into operation, pending permanent repairs.’

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