After the fog at the weekend caused sailing disruption in Heysham, the Steam Packet has chartered the return of MV Arrow to meet demand in the run-up to Christmas.
The freight vessel is currently making her way up to the Lancaster port where she is due to arrive in the early hours of tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.
Over the next few days, she will sail between Heysham and Douglas on five occasions to transport essential food and goods to the Island community in time for the festive period. This will free up additional capacity on overnight sailings for passengers with vehicles on the Ben-my-Chree.
The company said that every passenger affected by the weekend’s disruption has now been able to re-book their sailing ‘this side of Christmas’.
Managing Director Brian Thomson said: ‘The level of fog we encountered over the weekend was unprecedented and I am told by a long-serving member of the team that they have not experienced it to this degree in more than 40 years.
‘As a result of the disruption, we have ordered the Arrow to return which will allow us to release more car deck spaces on the Ben-my-Chree, as well as alleviate some of the freight pressure and provide extra support to ensure essential goods are delivered. The importance of ensuring passengers can get where they need to be at this time of year is clear and I am pleased to say everyone who has re-booked their travel has been able to do so in time for Christmas.
‘The Steam Packet Company teams, both island-based and in Heysham, have worked tirelessly to make this happen and I would like to thank them for pulling out all the stops at such a critical time of year.’
Unfortunately, some passengers did, according to Mr Thompson, verbally abuse some Steam Packet staff, which the MD said was ‘simply unacceptable’.