Cork-Swansea ferry forced to cancel first three sailings

THE fledgling Fastnet Line has been forced to cancel its first three ferry sailings on the Cork-Swansea route due to mechanical problems.

The company had intended to resume the ferry service on Monday.

But its hopes were dashed yesterday when it was discovered that the MV Julia had some mechanical defects which needed to be rectified before it would be allowed into service by maritime authorities.

The problems were discovered while the 21,699-tonne vessel, which was built in 1982, was being inspected during a refit at Swansea docks.

Tom Barrett, chief executive of the Fastnet Line, said it was regrettable that sailings had to be cancelled.

“It is a big blow, but we have to do things right. There are no in-betweens,” he said.

Mr Barrett described the problems as small, but they nevertheless require fixing and they were awaiting some parts.

He said as a result the planned sailing on March 1 to Swansea, March 3 back to Cork and March 4 returning to Swansea had been cancelled.

The company is hoping the problems will be rectified by the end of next week, with the maiden voyage taking place shortly afterwards.

Around 450 passengers are affected by the cancellation and yesterday the Fastnet Line was contacting them.

They were offered the option to book alternative dates of their choice.

They will also be offered a 50% discount off their fare when they next book Fastnet Line.

Those who don’t wish to travel will receive a full refund of their fare.

“This is obviously disappointing,” said Captain Michael McCarthy, the Port of Cork’s commercial manager. “But we have full confidence in the viability of the service and we look forward to its commencement.”

The Julia, which was built in Germany and has capacity for 1,400 passengers, was purchased from a Finnish bank by a co-operative formed by West Cork Tourism.

Three years ago Swansea-Cork Ferries was forced to close its service after it failed to find a replacement for the MV Superferry.


Lifestyle

On June 26, we sat outside the first bar to open here since lockdown began on March 15. There are only two bars in the valley. Cafes serve drinks, but these are bar-bars, the kind that stay open after midnight.Damien Enright: Fruit trees are laden with their bounty as we prepare to leave

In October 1986, 52 mute swans, living peacefully on the Tolka in Dublin, were drenched in diesel oil accidentally released into the river. Swan-catchers went into action; only one bird died before they reached it.Richard Collins: Human crisis will offer chance for wild animal research

It's a typically Irish summer’s day of sunshine and occasional showers. Travel restrictions have been eased again and we venture forth to one of nature’s gems, Gougane Barra, deep in the mountains of West Cork.Donal Hickey: Gougane Barra has peace and wildness

When the ferryman pulls away from the pier and the salty spray of the sea hits your face the feeling of release from the mainland is deeply pleasurable. Your island awaits. Whether for a day trip or a holiday, the lure of the islands is as magnetic as ever.The Islands of Ireland: The lure of the less-visited

More From The Irish Examiner