Alderney ferry link severed once again

ALDERNEY is without a ferry again as the company which had hoped to start running a service last week has suspended plans for sailings until July.

Alderney Ferry Services Ltd ran into issues with its vessel, Azula, with the original launch date of Monday put back to Thursday and then to Saturday.

On Friday evening, the company issued a statement detailing a further delay.

‘It is with deep sadness that we, Alderney Ferry Services Ltd, have to announce that we will be closing our hatches and mooring up until July,’ said company co-owners and directors Daniel Slimm and Charlie Smith.

‘During sea trials this week we have discovered that the privately-owned vessel we chartered unfortunately has a major underlying engine issue, which didn’t come to light until we worked on replacing the broken turbo.

‘We have tried to source another vessel, and have found a number of options, but without any external financial assistance we would be running at a loss over the next month and for us, trying to provide for a young family, it’s unfortunately not viable.’

The couple said they were disappointed and felt they had let down islanders.

‘We started this “voyage” in the hope that we would be providing a much-needed lifeline service for our community, but did not fully anticipate the issues and bad luck that we have encountered,’ they said.

Ashlin.

‘However, this is not the end for us – it is just another hurdle we have to overcome. In addition to sourcing a suitable replacement vessel, we now find ourselves having to find more finances to keep the project going. If there are people in the community who would like to help us financially to re-launch this project, at whatever level possible, please drop us a line.’

The company is looking to provide refunds to people due to sail before July.

Those booked from July onwards can keep their booking or have a refund.

The Little Ferry Company, which had operated a service since 2018, decided not to do so this year.

Instead the States of Alderney subsidy went to the Salty Blonde, but that company’s eight-seater vessel, Ashlin, suffered mechanical problems with an engine at the start of May and the service has been suspended for several weeks. No date for it to start again has been announced.

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