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Ben My Chree suffers engine failure

12th March, 2012

The Isle of Man Steam Packet vessel Ben-my-Chree had to return to Douglas on Saturday afternoon (10th March) when a problem occurred with one of its engines during the regular weekend sailing to Birkenhead.

The ship was some two and a half hours into her journey when the decision was taken to return to the Isle of Man.

Mark Woodward, Chief Executive said: "The issue with one of the engines meant the Ben was operating on one engine and one bow thrust unit. Given the nature of berthing in Birkenhead, the ship’s master took the decision, on safety grounds, not to attempt the berthing and return to Douglas"

"The Ben is travelling slowly and is due to arrive back in Douglas at approximately 3.30pm. Tonight was a planned maintenance night for the vessel, so we will use that time to fully assess the issue and update passengers later today with respect to tomorrow’s scheduled 8am Birkenhead service."

The situation once again highlights the vulnersability of the Island's "lifeline" which is served for the majority of time by only one vessel and which is the only one capable fo carrying freight in any significant quantity.

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