Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 13:19 UK

Ferry passengers in toilet ordeal

A toilet
Norfolkline Ferries said an item of clothing was flushed down the toilet

A ferry company has apologised to passengers after toilets were unusable for most of an overnight crossing from Liverpool to Belfast at the weekend.

Norfolkline Ferries said the plumbing system broke down on Sunday morning at about 12am after an item of clothing was flushed down a toilet.

One passenger said: "We spent almost 10 hours on the ship without toilets - it was disgusting."

The company said it had apologised to passengers for the "inconvenience".

"Engineers worked to resolve this issue through the night and it was resolved at approximately 0705am, after passengers disembarked the ship."

One of the passengers, who contacted the BBC, said there were many families with young children on board.

"The ship was disgusting and it should not have sailed," he said.

He said when they arrived in Belfast at about 6am, the terminal building was still closed and no public toilets were open in the city.

"It was the quickest journey of my life home to the north coast. It was very distressing for everyone concerned," he said.

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