The Isle of Man Steam Packet catamaran Manannan returned to service from Douglas to Liverpool and Belfast on 11 April after repairs to what the company describe as the most severe sea debris damage suffered by one of its vessels in more than 20 years of high-speed operations.

Mark Woodward, the Steam Packet’s chief executive, said: ‘This has obviously been a difficult period and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to passengers. The nature of the damage suffered was the worst we have seen to one of our fast craft vessels.’

The 96m Incat was stopped on Good Friday, and engineers and divers worked in Douglas through the following week to repair two starboard waterjets and the starboard trim tab to get the 1998-built vessel back on stream. Traffic was switched to Heysham-Douglas sailings by ro-pax vessel Ben-My-Chree, with ro-ro Arrow brought in to handle freight.

P&O’s 86m Incat Express also made one trip from Larne to the island on 8 April, but suffered engine problems and needed tug assistance while arriving and departing from Douglas. Manannan is named after the Celtic God of the Irish Sea and carries 850 passengers and 200 cars.

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