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Refitting of thrust unit brought forward

There's good news from the Steam Packet, concerning the refitting of the missing bow thruster on the Ben-my-Chree.

At the end of last week, chief executive Mark Woodward said the company had been badly let down by the manufacturer of the unit, and it was likely the vessel wouldn't be fully repaired until April next year.

He now reports that, following continued pressure from the Packet, the unit is due to be delivered on Wednesday of next week.

In a media statement, Mr Woodward says the bow thruster is set to be fitted when the Ben goes into dry dock for three days, from Friday, December 16.

A charter freighter has been provisionally booked for that period, and Manannan will provide a single daily crossing to the United Kingdom.

Mr Woodward says the manufacturer in Finland has apologised for the time it is taking to deliver the repaired bow thruster, saying it is 'extremely sorry'.

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