Passengers and crew winched to safety
A helicopter rescue team has airlifted 23 people from a ferry which ran aground off the coast of Blackpool.
The ferry came into trouble when a huge wave smashed into the Riverdance causing it to ground off the Lancashire coast as it crossed the Irish Sea on Thursday night.
The vessel had been taking trucks from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland to the port of Heysham in Lancashire when the stormy seas caused the cargo trucks and trailers to shift leading to the vessel listing dangerously.
The ship which crosses the Irish Sea twice a day is battling 7m waves and rescue vessels are having difficulty getting close to the ferry to assist with recovery.
Solicitor Sallie Booth from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who specialises in group actions and has acted on behalf of victims of previous ferry accidents including the Zebrugge incident and the recent case involving the Isle of Man Seacat commented: "Cleary, during times of extreme weather such as this, operating companies need to think carefully before allowing their vessels to leave port as they owe a duty of care to their passengers and crew. In this instance there is a question raised as to whether the vessel should have set sail when such treacherous conditions were forecast."
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