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Ben back on ferry duty after prop repairs


Steam Packet sailings aboard the Ben my Chree have resumed (13 Feb) after emergency repairs were carried out to a damaged propeller system.

The ferry left for Heysham at just before noon, after last night's crossing was cancelled and this morning's scheduled 0845 departure delayed.

The Ben suffered an engine failure as she entered Douglas harbour on Thursday evening, and was tied up at the Battery Pier while the problem was investigated.

Passengers faced a four hour delay before she was escorted by tug boats to Victoria Pier for disembarkation.

The Steam Packet Company says its engineers have completed and successfully tested repairs to the Ben's propellers.

It remains unclear whether fishing tackle became entangled in the props - divers who examined them overnight did not find evidence discarded nets were to blame.

After engine power was lost last night, the Ben's stern bumped Battery Pier as she drifted, trapping a tied up fishing boat and causing 'superficial' damage to both vessels. 

Today's scheduled return from Heysham at 1415 has been put back to 1715 and passengers should check in no later than 1530.

Chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘I would like to pay tribute to the on-board engineering team who have worked tirelessly through the night, supplemented by our shore-based engineers,  to identify and repair the damage to the Ben’s propeller system.


‘Also to the Operations and Reservations teams ashore who have worked to keep our passengers and freight customers updated.


Mr Woodward went on to apologise to passengers for the inconvenience, wishing visitors and residents 'a safe and speedy return from the half-term break.’



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