On Air Manx Radio Breakfast Ben Hartley & Sian Cowper | 7:30am - 9:30am

SPC says it does 'all it can' to ensure sailings are 'safe and comfortable'

It's after a number of cars damaged on yesterday's Manannan crossing

The Steam Packet says it does all it can to ensure its sailings are 'safe and comfortable'.

A passenger on yesterday's Manannan crossing told Manx Radio their car was one of around 20 that were damaged during the journey.

They claim they had to 'hold onto their seat' to stay in it and that the galley was 'completely trashed'.

They also say it was announced over the tannoy that they were experiencing Gale Force 8 winds.

Speaking to Manx Radio afterwards, they claimed that foot passengers were able to disembark almost immediately, but some car passengers were kept onboard for more than two hours after they docked.

They also claim they weren't allowed down to the car decks to assess any damage for over an hour.

This passenger's car suffered a broken wing mirror and dented wheel arch, but they say others suffered more significant damage after being shunted into each other.

Manx Radio has seen pictures of some of the cars damaged.

The passenger says they've queried with the Steam Packet why the cars were squeezed into a small area of the upper level where they could bash into each other, instead of spreading them around the emptier main hold as there hadn't been many cars on the crossing.

They say that after this experience, they're going to make their own decision about whether or not to get on the ferry in bad weather in the future and not rely on the Steam Packet's decision.

The Steam Packet says extra precautions were taken to secure vehicles with additional lashings added, but admits some were still damaged.

Nobody was injured, and it says its staff did their 'utmost' to make sure passengers were as comfortable as possible during the rough crossing.

It says the unprecedented number of storms recently has resulted in challenging sailing conditions, but that passenger safety is its top priority.

In a statement, the company says: "We do all we can to ensure sailings go ahead when the weather allows and that sailings are safe and comfortable."

More from Isle of Man News