Temporary repairs to Ben-my-Chree have been completed sooner than anticipated and she returned to service with a freight-only sailing to Heysham mid-morning.

The vessel suffered damage four metres above her waterline after colliding with a berthing fender while docking yesterday evening at her usual King Edward Pier Linkspan, Number 5 berth.

It was initially thought the Ben would return to service for this evening’s Douglas- Heysham sailing, but she will now operate a normal, albeit delayed, passenger and freight service for her return from Heysham this afternoon. This is expected to depart at 1530, slightly later than her scheduled time of 1415.

Manannan’s Liverpool-Douglas service departed on schedule at 1115, and her later sailings – the 1500 Douglas-Liverpool and 1915 Liverpool-Douglas – are also on schedule.

This evening’s Ben-my-Chree Douglas-Heysham service at 1945 may be delayed slightly as a consequence of her late sailing this morning, with an anticipated departure time of around 2030.

The Company has made every effort to contact affected passengers and freight customers to advise them of the latest revised schedule, and will continue to do so should there be any further changes.

Steam Packet Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We managed to effect the temporary repairs to the Ben sooner than expected, which enabled her to operate a freight-only service to Heysham this morning.

‘At this stage, we do not expect there to be any impact on the Ben’s schedule during TT fortnight.’

Yesterday’s collision caused damage to the berthing fenders on Number 5 berth and the Steam Packet Company has launched an internal investigation. There were no injuries reported.

Mr Woodward said: ‘We continue to work with Department of Infrastructure to assess damage to the seaward berthing fender on the King Edward Pier and what is required in order to bring the berth back into operation, pending permanent repairs.’