Condor ferry Commodore Clipper that struck the seabed off Little Russell, enroute to Guernsey, has docked in number three dock for hull repairs.

An initial inspection of the hull has revealed more damage than was first anticipated. The company has a good working relationship with A&P Falmouth having had numerous ships repaired here over the years.

In a statement Condor Ferries said: “Complex repairs are required. These are being carried out in dry dock in Falmouth, meaning that Clipper is now expected to be out of service until August 26, 2014. Until then, Condor will transfer Clipper passengers onto its high speed ferries and put in place a charter solution specifically for its freight customers, the details of which will be announced in the coming days.

CEO James Fulford said “We are completely committed to keeping our Islands connected and supplied via the lifeline service which we provide. Our staff are working around the clock both to minimise disruption for our customers and to put in place the most robust contingency arrangements as our top priority.”

“Operating ships from the Channel Islands presents particular challenges in terms of the sea conditions and the characteristics of the historic ports.

Combined with the decline in shipping and small ships worldwide, this means there are very few ships which are compatible with our Islands' needs. As a result it has not been possible to secure a direct replacement for Clipper which combines passengers and freight.”

Mr Fulford said: “The incident remains the subject of an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. As is standard in this process, the Master involved is contributing to the investigation. Whilst the quasi-judicial process is underway, Condor will not be commenting or speculating on the cause of the incident.”