The Ben-my-Chree was damaged this lunchtime while berthing in Heysham. In winds gusting to 50 knots, the Ben was pushed onto a structure in the harbour and the hull was punctured, creating a small hole approximately four metres above the waterline.

No one was injured and the ship later berthed safely alongside her normal berth.

Classification Society and Flag State surveyors are attending and it is anticipated that a temporary repair will be put in place allowing the Ben to resume sailing with effect from 01.45 tomorrow morning.

The 14.15 sailing today has been cancelled and passengers have been offered a transfer to other sailings.

The Steam Packet Company wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused and is making every effort to resume normal services as soon as possible.