The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has revealed that a 'minor structural issue' in part of the bow thrusters on board the Manxman was behind two cancelled sailings today.

Earlier on Saturday, Isle of Man Today reported how the ferry firm's flagship vessel failed to depart on this morning's planned sailing to Heysham.

The ship was due to set off from Douglas at 8am however the vessel was still docked in the harbour by mid morning.

The Steam Packet subsequently revealed that they'd sent engineers to investigate what they described as a 'technical issue' with the ship.

The company later announced that the problem had forced it to scrap this morning's planned sailing to the Lancashire port as well as the return journey in the afternoon.

According to the Steam Packet, the bow thruster issue was identified by staff ahead of the planned 8am departure this morning.

A spokesman for the company said: 'Following discussions with shore side staff, the vessel’s flag state authority and classification society, it was decided to cancel the daytime sailings to and from Heysham in order to give time for the issue to be fully investigated and resolved.'

The Ben-my-Chree was subsequently prepared to undertake tonight's planned 8.15pm sailing to Heysham as well as the return journey during the early hours of Sunday.

However, the company have now released a statement confirming that the issues on the Manxman have now been resolved and that the flagship will be conducting tonight's and tomorrow morning's sailings.

The spokesman confirmed that its reservations staff have contacted affected passengers in order to transfer them to the overnight sailing, make alternative arrangements or issue refunds and has apologised to all affected customers.

Steam Packet Managing Director Brian Thomson commented As always, safety is our number one priority.

'While we are very sorry for the disruption this has caused, it is absolutely right that the situation is fully investigated and resolved.

'I’d like to thank all of the crew, shoreside staff, our colleagues in DoI, Isle of Man Ship Registry and at Lloyd’s Register for assisting in resolving this promptly and effectively.’