Manannan services on Tuesday, June 17, are being cancelled to allow the damage caused to one of her engines by fishing gear during TT week to be repaired.
The Steam Packet’s fast craft had to operate on slightly reduced power for the last few days of the TT festival after ingesting discarded fishing gear which damaged a shaft bearing on one of her four engines.
Chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We managed to keep Manannan departures on schedule over the last few days of TT, despite having reduced power and the exceptional loads that TT brings with it. However, as we outlined last week, a repair is required to bring the vessel back up to full power again.
‘A permanent repair will take 24 hours to complete and has been scheduled for completion in Douglas on Tuesday, June 17, which is the day with least bookings. Manannan services will therefore be cancelled on that day and any passengers affected are being contacted and will be offered alternatives via Heysham or travel on alternative days.’
With Manannan back in operation for Wednesday, June 18, Ben-my-Chree will then make her scheduled trip to dry dock to have a stabilising fin, damaged during the heavy weather at the start of the year, refitted.
Mr Woodward added: ‘We inspected the damage to the fin in late January and made the decision to remove the fin and return Ben-my-Chree to service until the unit had been repaired. The Ben has had effective stabilising efficiency with only one fin operational, and there was no impact on the vessel’s ability to sail, nor to berth, safely.
‘After confirmation from the manufacturer, we announced in April that the Ben would be going into dry dock during a relatively quiet period from June 19 until June 21 and any passengers affected were advised at that time that a revised sailing schedule would operate. As previously advised, Manannan and our chartered freighter, MV Arrow, will provide services to Heysham and Liverpool while the Ben is in dry dock.’
Mr Woodward added: ‘We appreciate that any kind of disruption to services can be frustrating for passengers and we would like to thank those travelling next week for their patience and understanding.
‘These repair periods for each vessel are fairly short, particularly for Manannan, and by the end of next week we look forward to having both vessels back in operation ahead of the rest of the busy summer season.’