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Ben-my-Chree needs repairs for 'at least a week'

It'll go to Falmouth dry dock on Tuesday

The Ben-my-Chree will be out of action for 'at least a week' as it undergoes repair work to one of its propellers.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company says it sustained damage when entering Heysham harbour, and it'll go into dry dock on Tuesday.

After inspection by divers, as well as investigations by the manufacturers of the propeller control systems, it's been decided the repairs can't be carried out whilst the vessel is afloat.

Manx Radio understands the Ben-my-Chree only returned to Douglas at around 12:30 this morning.

It'll sail from Douglas to Falmouth dry dock on Tuesday, with a further inspection and assessment by specialists to take place there.

It's hoped the Ben-my-Chree will be back in service by Friday, 11 September, and the company has issued a revised timetable in the meantime.

The Manannan will operate the daily Heysham sailings from Tuesday, while the MV Arrow will continue to provide a daily freight service.

Any passengers affected will be contacted by the company directly.

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: "I would like to apologise to our passenger and freight customers who may experience some interruption to services as a result of this unscheduled dry-docking.

"Unfortunately, we have no other option in order to repair the Ben and avoid further disruption to schedules.

"As soon as it became clear she had sustained damage when entering Heysham harbour, a team of engineers and divers inspected the vessel and we have worked quickly to secure a slot in dry dock so repairs can be carried out as soon as possible.

"The measures we have put in place with Manannan and Arrow ensure we are able to maintain our passenger services and our ongoing commitment to transport essential food and goods to the Island community.

"Service frequency and capacity remains well in excess of current demand levels and we will release further updates as information becomes available."

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