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A ferry service between Essex and Denmark is suspended this week after the vessel crashed at Harwich International Port.
The Sirena Seaways ferry struck the quay just before midday on Saturday afternoon. None of the 489 passengers were hurt.
The ferry operator says the vessel will be out of action until next weekend, and it is helping customers find alternative routes.
Ferry operator DFDS says sailings from Harwich to Denmark will be suspended for a week after the Sirena Seaways ferry struck the quay at Parkeston on Saturday. The ship needs to be repaired in dry dock and will be out of service until Saturday 29 June. None of the 489 passengers were hurt.
– DFDS Seaways
We would like to apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused during this time. Our customer services team is working hard to find alternative transportation routes for all passengers booked on to the cancelled sailings. '
Services have been suspended on DFDS Seaways between Harwich and Esbjerg due to incident involving a ferry at Harwich.
The Sirena Seaways ferry was damaged on entering Harwich Port today - DFDS sailings are suspended whilst the situation is assessed.
@itvanglia HART team and local ensuring all passengers are safe and well.
Sirena Seaways is part of the ferry operator DFDS Seaways which travels to France, Holland and Denmark.
DFDS Seaways said in a statement: "
We can confirm that Sirena Seaways sustained some damage on entering the port at Harwich during today's scheduled arrival at 12noon UK time.
This has resulted in the late discharge of the ship. There is no danger to passengers or crew, and we are working hard to disembark the passengers and vehicles from the ferry as quickly as possible.
"We are currently assessing the situation before it is able to resume its service on the Harwich - Esbjerg route.
We would like to apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused to their travel plans. We should have further details on the future timings of the service shortly."
Meanwhile, Fire Officer Terry Jewell said:
This is one of the regular ferries that comes into Harwich and as it docked it hit the side of the quay making a hole under the water line.
The ship is stable now and we are standing by as a precaution while the vessel is moved so that ramps can come down and passengers can leave.
The ship's crew worked swiftly to put their safety plans into practice immediately after the accident happened."
Essex Fire Service was also called to the incident. They have said no one is trapped and no one is injured.
The fire service said the water was stopped by the crew:
– Essex Fire Service
Firefighters were sent to assist at the scene while the ship's own crew plugged the hole from inside and built a compartment with water tight doors to stem the leak as part of regular safety precautions.
The passengers and their vehicles are still on board but in no danger and the vessel will shortly be re-berthed so that they can continue their journey."
Harwich Lifeboat Station said the ship has sustained structural damage and was initially taking water. This has now been contained and the ship is in no danger. The Harwich Lifeboat has been standing by since the incident occurred.
The ship is awaiting a diver to arrive in order to inspect the damage. The Harwich Lifeboat will continue to stand by until the incident is closed
Sirena Seaways operates between Denmark and Harwich.
Thames Coastguard say the Sirena Seaways ferry which struck Parkeston Quay will be assessed for damage.
– Thames Coastguard
Our first priority is to the passengers on board. There are discussions between the coastguard and the ship to assess the damage.
If possible they will look to tow the ship into Harwich port as that was where it was headed. If possible that will take place later this afternoon."
Initial reports suggested that the vessel had taken on water, but Thames Coastguard have reported that this has been stopped.