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Sailings off, and 'no' to extra freighter

Winds gusting to storm force ten have forced the cancellations of the first two Steam Packet sailings today (Thursday).

As expected, following last night's warning from the company of possible disruption to services, the 8.45am crossing to Heysham has been dropped, along with the return sailing this afternoon.

A decision on this evening's 7.45 Heysham service, and the return at 2.15am tomorrow, will be made at 5pm today.

The Steam Packet is warning weather conditions could lead to further disruptions and cancellations.

Meanwhile, the company has responded to last night's call from North Douglas MHK Bill Henderson for an extra freighter to be chartered, to help bring supplies over, in what he suggested was a 'crisis' situation.

Packet chief executive Mark Woodward says vessels that are suitable for Douglas harbour in terms of size are typically older ones with limited manoeuvrability, and are not readily available for short-term charter.

The company is expecting confirmation this morning of the charter for the replacement freight vessel for when the Ben-my-Chree goes into dry dock for three days from December 16, so the repaired bow thruster can be refitted.

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