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Possible 'panic buying', but ferries are running

The next two Steam Packet sailings will operate as planned, according to the latest update from the company (2pm, Wednesday).

The last four crossings have been cancelled because of gale force winds, but the Packet is telling customers: 'After reviewing the current weather forecasts the master has confirmed that the sailings should go ahead as scheduled'.

The Ben-my-Chree is due to sail from Douglas to Heysham at 7.45pm today (Wednesday), and return at 2.15am tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Packet's chief executive Mark Woodward is now hopeful the Ben's missing bow thruster will be fitted when the vessel goes into dry dock on December 16.

With shops running low on stock and signs in some retail outlets that panic buying might be starting, the news will be welcomed by everybody.

Sales director of Isle of Man Creamery Sean Evans says it seems people are beginning to stock up on provisions (first part of audio file):

Meanwhile, Infrastructure Minister David Cretney says he is keeping in regular contact with the Steam Packet (second part of audio file):

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