(31 August 2020) The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Ben-my-Chree will go into dry dock on Tuesday (1st September) after sustaining damage to one of her propellers when entering Heysham harbour.
Following an inspection by divers, as well as investigations by the manufacturers of her propeller control systems, it has been deemed necessary that repairs are carried out and these cannot be done while the vessel is afloat.
It is anticipated she will sail from Douglas to Falmouth dry dock on Tuesday with repairs expected to take at least a week, depending on a further inspection and assessment by specialists when the vessel is out of the water.
Ben-my-Chree is currently expected to return to scheduled service on Friday 11th September and, in the meantime, the Company has introduced a revised timetable.
From Tuesday, Manannan will operate the daily Heysham sailings, while the MV Arrow will continue to provide a daily freight service.
Any passengers affected will be contacted by the Company directly.
Steam Packet Company 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.’