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Last Updated: Friday February 01 2008 08:36 GMT

In pictures: Freak wave hits ferry

The Riverdance ferry

Here's what the ferry Riverdance looks like on a calm day. It crosses the Irish Sea twice a day and was carrying trucks and trailers when it was hit by a freak wave in bad weather.

A night-vision image of the Riverdance ferry

Check out the waves! Emergency helicopters took this photo using special night-vision camera equipment when the ferry ran aground on the north shore of Blackpool beach.

A night-vision image of Riverdance

Three helicopters - one from the Navy, one from the RAF and one from the coastguard - went to help the ferry, as well as some lifeboats.

Night-vision image of Riverdance

At one point the ship was rocking dangerously at a sharp angle.

Night-vision image of people on board Riverdance

There were 14 people airlifted to safety on Thursday night, and the last nine crew members were taken off on Friday morning when conditions got worse.

The Riverdance at Blackpool

The ferry got into difficulty about 10 miles off the coast of Fleetwood, Lancashire, over a bank known as Shell Flat. Here it is stuck on a sandbank at Blackpool's North Shore.

The Riverdance at Blackpool

The company that owns the ship is now starting work to salvage the 115m long ship.