THE Ben-my-Chree ferry was damaged at lunchtime today, Friday, while berthing in Heysham.
In winds gusting to 50 knots, the boat was pushed onto a structure in the harbour and the hull was punctured, creating a small hole approximately four metres above the waterline.
No one was injured and the ship later berthed safely alongside her normal berth.
Classification Society and Flag State surveyors attended the scene and it is anticipated that a temporary repair will be put in place allowing the ferry to resume sailing with effect from 1.45am tomorrow.
Today’s 2.15pm sailing to Douglas on the Isle of Man was cancelled and passengers were offered a transfer to other sailings.
A spokesman for the Steam Packet Company said the firm wished to apologise for the inconvenience caused and said they were making every effort to resume normal services as soon as possible.