herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Cruise ship holds more than 1,500 passengers off shore at Dublin because of 'medical issue'

Dublin Port
Dublin Port
Irish Ferries Ulysses

An Irish Ferries ship arriving in Dublin ahead of St Patrick’s Day held more than 1,500 passengers off shore for over an hour on Monday night following a request from British port authorities.

The Ulysses ship, which had been travelling from Holyhead to Dublin, had been due to arrive at around 5.30pm when it received the request from Holyhead Port Authority.

The ship remained at sea until 6.30pm, when the all-clear was given to allow the 1,555 passengers to disembark.

A spokesman from Holyhead Port Authority said the request had been made after the alarm was raised about a “medical issue”.

“We were advised to issue a request to Irish Ferries to hold off on embarking passengers from the Ulysses ship. It was rescinded quite quickly,” he said.

But confusion reigned as neither the NHS or Public Health England said they were aware of the incident last night.

An Irish Ferries spokesman said: “Our ship, the Ulysses, was arriving into Dublin Port, and we were asked by the port authorities in Holyhead to hold our passengers on board, and not discharge them. Apparently, there was some situation being investigated on the UK side.

“It’s normal procedure that we would act on that request, so we acted on it.

"Just about an hour later, at 6.30pm, we got clearance to release the passengers. We let them off on their way and the vessel concerned is now back in normal service, on its way back over to Holyhead.”

Irish Ferries have said that the 'medical issue' was not Ebola-related, as has been reported elsewhere.

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