Over half of stranded passengers have left Island

The Steam Packet Company says most of the passengers affected by a cancelled sailing earlier this week have been able to travel on other crossings.

The operator warned it wasn't able to offer an alternative sailing until at least this evening after high winds prevented Tuesday's sailing to Heysham going ahead.

The Steam Packet was able to put extra freight on the Arrow, allowing more vehicles to travel on the Ben-my-Chree, while an additional Manannan sailing has been scheduled for this evening so the remaining stranded passengers can travel.

Over half of the 540 passengers booked on the cancelled sailing had travelled by midday yesterday, with the Manannan carrying a record number of motorcycles.

The Ben had been re-routed to Birkenhead earlier in the day because of the conditions at Heysham, but the ferry company revealed staff weren't available at the Mersey port at night, forcing the operator to cancel.