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Last Updated: Monday, 24 March 2008, 15:09 GMT
Stricken ferry not to sail again
The 6,000-tonne ferry will never sail again, its owners say
A ferry stranded off the Blackpool coast will never sail again after being declared a "constructive loss".

The Riverdance cargo ship ran aground off the Lancashire coast on 31 January after being hit by a freak wave on its way from Northern Ireland to Heysham.

Following numerous efforts to refloat her being hampered by bad weather, the ship's owners, Seatruck Ferries, have said she will never return to service.

However, salvage teams still hope to refloat her in the near future.

A total of 23 people were airlifted to safety - 19 crew and four passengers when the 6,000-ton vessel ran aground.

Tourist attraction

It has since become a popular tourist attraction as people from across the UK visit Blackpool to see the ferry, which is stuck fast on its side.

Tony Redding, of Seatruck Ferries, said salvage teams intend to refloat the ship when the weather calms but are considering using winches rather than complex buoyancy techniques.

"Riverdance is a constructive loss and will never return to service," Mr Redding said.

"She suffered very significant damage during the last bout of bad weather.

"The intention is still to remove her in one piece and new proposals are being prepared about the salvage operation.

"By the end of next week the situation should be clarified as to what is going to happen next."

Riverdance battered by storms at Cleveleys

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16 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
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13 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
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11 Feb 08 |  Lancashire
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06 Feb 08 |  Lancashire
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04 Feb 08 |  Lancashire
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02 Feb 08 |  Lancashire

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