The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is making a change to its fleet deployment as a result of a technical issue with Snaefell.

Last Sunday, engineers on Snaefell were alerted to an issue with one of her four engines. Following a shut-down and subsequent examination, it has become apparent that the engine has suffered a crankshaft failure.

The Company is currently making arrangements to have the engine repaired and, in order to assist with continuity of regular services, is also exploring whether Manannan can cover some services.

Snaefell was due to operate on the Liverpool route on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 July. These sailings will now be covered by Manannan.

Snaefell will continue to cover the two Dublin and two Belfast sailings per week.

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said, “The failure of a crankshaft is an extremely rare event and it is highly unfortunate that both Manannan and Snaefell have encountered this problem at the same time. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company operates a rigorous servicing and maintenance regime and it is 15 years since a Company vessel last experienced this issue. The Company is prepared for this challenging situation and our engineers, in conjunction with specialist third-party contractors, are making the necessary arrangements to bring both vessels back up to full power as soon as possible.

“We are endeavouring to carry out the repairs in such a way that minimises disruption to the sailing schedule and allows passengers to complete their planned sailings, albeit with crossing times that are longer than scheduled.

“We may have to slightly alter some sailing departure times on a few of our Belfast and Dublin services. Where this arises our passenger services staff will contact passengers affected by these changes and I would ask passengers to ensure that they have left us contact details, preferably a mobile phone number, in order that we can advise them of any schedule changes.

“I would like to apologise to passengers affected by the longer than scheduled crossing times and assure them that we are making the necessary arrangements to maintain services and restore the vessels to full power.”