The Stena Nordica ferry did a U turn and returned to Fishguard Harbour this afternoon (Monday), after leaving port with her bow visor open.

One eyewitness said that the ferry had left port in Fishguard, got beyond the north breakwater, before turning round and returning to port at around 1.20pm.

It seems that the ferry spent some time in the harbour rectifying the problem before relaunching.

According to website marine she is now in St George’s Channel, travelling at a speed of 22.7 knots towards Rosslare.

When a photo of the ferry was posted on social media, safety concerns were initially raised that it was the bow doors that were open.

However, a Stena employee posted that it was only the bow visor that was open and all watertight doors were closed and secure.

This has been confirmed by a retired merchant navy officer who has examined the photo.

Captain Ian Davies, Stena Line Trade Director said:

“The Stena Nordica developed a technical problem with the closing mechanism of its bow visor as it departed Fishguard for Rosslare on its scheduled 13.10 hrs sailing.  

"The ship returned to port to carry out the necessary repairs and the Stena Nordica departed Fishguard at 13.50 hrs for Rosslare.  

"Stena Line would like to clarify that the Bow Visor is not a watertight door, however, in line with standard protocol, the mechanical issue was reported to the Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) by the Captain of the ship. 

"The inner watertight door was closed before departure but it is not possible to close this visor while the ship is still sitting on the berth, the vessel has to manoeuvre away from the berth to allow this to close which was when the problem was discovered.  The Stena Nordica is now fully operational again.”