Heysham ferry fixed in time for New Year

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Normal passenger ferry services between Heysham port and the Isle of Man will resume tomorrow (December 31).

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Ben-my-Chree will return to operation starting with the 8.45am Douglas to Heysham service, after repairs to the ship’s steering gear.

The Steam Packet Company brought in specialist engineers from Rolls Royce to assist with repairs to a fault which had meant, on safety grounds, the vessel was unable to sail since Saturday morning.

The technical issue led to the cancellation of the weekend’s Birkenhead and Dublin services. Sailings between Douglas and Heysham continued on a revised schedule until Ben-my-Chree was repaired.

Mark Woodward, chief executive of Steam Packet Company, said: ‘It was extremely regrettable for Ben-my-Chree to suffer a mechanical failure at such a busy time and I would like to apologise once again to all our passengers inconvenienced by the disruption to services.

“We have carried out the repairs as quickly as we could and made every effort to ensure freight transport was not impacted and that passenger services were maintained.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in making the vessels available so quickly and at such short notice, which allowed us to ensure continuity of service.”