A ferry has run aground in Blackpool after it was hit by "horrendous" weather on the Irish Sea

A ferry has run aground in Blackpool after it was hit by “horrendous” weather on the Irish Sea.

The Riverdance ferry, owned by Seatruck Ferries was carrying trucks and trailers from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland to Heysham, Lancashire, on Thursday evening when it was struck by high winds and a freak wave. It is thought the ship’s cargo shifted, causing the vessel to list significantly, resulting in the vessel running aground on the north shore of Blackpool beach.

The ferry got into trouble off the coast of Fleetwood, Lancashire, over a bank known as Shell Flat. A Mayday was issued and rescue helicopters from the Royal Navy, RAF and Irish Coastguard were at the scene overnight and airlifted four passengers and 10 crew to safety. The remaining nine crew members initially remained on board in an attempt to save the vessel but they are all now safely off.

There are currently strong winds on the scene. A spokesperson for Seatruck Ferries said, “There have been no leakages and we are now waiting for the salvage master to get on board, inspect the situation and form a plan”.