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Freight links hit as vessel ruled out until end of summer

Freight links hit as vessel ruled out until end of summer

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Freight links hit as vessel ruled out until end of summer

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Food and freight links could be disrupted all summer after Condor revealed that their Commodore Clipper will be out of action until the end of August.

The company says that “complex repairs” are required after the vessel hit the bottom of the sea-bed in the channel into Guernsey harbor on 14 July, and that it is expected to be out of service until 26 August.

Condor is now arranging a charter service to handle its freight commitments, and says that it will move passengers on to its fast ferry services.

The company says that it will not comment on the causes of the accident which is being investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, but it is known to have occurred at a time when there was a very low spring tide.

Already this weekend there were empty shelves in some supermarkets – and that could become a regular occurrence.

Condor chief executive James Fulford said: “We are completely committed to keeping our Islands connected and supplied via the lifeline service which we provide. Our staff are working around the clock both to minimise disruption for our customers and to put in place the most robust contingency arrangements as our top priority.

“Operating ships from the Channel Islands presents particular challenges in terms of the sea conditions and the characteristics of the historic ports. Combined with the decline in shipping and small ships worldwide, this means there are very few ships which are compatible with our Islands’ needs. As a result it has not been possible to secure a direct replacement for Clipper which combines passengers and freight.

“I would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we work our way through the rebooking process, prioritising those travelling soonest. I’d also like to pay tribute to the dry dock team in Falmouth who are working 24 hours a day to repair Clipper to the highest possible standard and to our teams helping freight customers and our guests rearrange their travel plans.”

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