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A North Channel ferry operated by Stena Line caught fire when berthed in Belfast Harbour yesterday, 19 July.

The Stena Superfast VII which was berthed at Victoria Terminal 4 (VT4) is where emergency crews from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue service were scrambled in the morning to the quayside on the West Bank Road.

According to the ferry operator, a small fire had broken out on a backup generator on the Stena Superfast VII. During the incident there were no passengers on board the ferry that operates the Belfast-Cairnryan route. 

As ITV News reported, it is thought the fire will cause delays to the day’s sailings (which Afloat adds led to cancelled sailings instead, see further update below).

“Stena Line can confirm that a small fire broke out in an emergency generator room onboard the Stena Superfast VII vessel this morning (July 19th) as it prepared to sail for the 11.30hrs crossing from Belfast Harbour to Cairnryan," a spokesperson said.

"The fire was quickly extinguished by Stena Line crew, emergency services were alerted as a precaution. There were no passengers onboard the ship at the time and there were no injuries.

“The 11.30hrs sailing was cancelled and Stena Line is currently working on a revised sailing schedule for the remainder of the day and will advise all affected passengers accordingly.”

Afloat adds that Stena Line today, Thursday, 20 July, have a temporary replacement ferry in place as the Stena Nordica has taken over the sailing roster of Stena Superfast VII which went for repairs to the nearby Harland & Wolff shipyard.

The Stena Nordica yesterday evening was taken off service on the Rosslare-Fishguard as Afloat tracked the ropax less than a hour after departing the Wexford ferryport at 20.00. The 450 passenger ferry with 1,700 freight vehicle lane-metre capacity, made an overnight repositioning passage to Belfast Harbour to where it was redeployed on the route to Scotland.

As of this morning, Stena Nordica which is a more freight orientated ferry (ropax) made a first sailing this morning bound for Cairnryan. The routine scheduled 07.30 sailing instead took place slightly later with a departure of 08.00hrs. The return sailing from Cairnryan is scheduled for 11.30 with an arrival back in Belfast at 13.45.

According to the Stena Line freight website, the Stena Superfast VII is to remain out of service until next Sunday, 23 July.

In the meantime, the North Channel ferry's twin, Stena Superfast VIII will maintain sailings on the route along with the Stena Nordica on the busy N.Ireland-Scotland short sea link.

It is less than a week ago when the Stena Nordica had only been introduced on the Rosslare-Fishguard route to replace the veteran Stena Europe as the new permanent ferry on the Ireland-Wales route.

Passengers on the St. Georges Channel route have been advised of alternative travel arrangements which have been made with Irish Ferries on their Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route.

Published in Stena Line

About Stena Line

Stena Line is one of Europe's leading ferry companies with 37 vessels and 17 routes in Northern Europe operating 25,000 sailings each year. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Gothenburg. Stena Line has 4,300 employees and an annual turnover of 14 billion SEK.