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27 scenes which capture the drama of the Riverdance and the aftermath of one of the Fylde Coast’s most memorable sea incidents

This photo shows the enormous hull at low tide

A winter storm sealed the fate of the Riverdance ferry when it became stranded on the sands in January 2008.

The ferry ran aground in Cleveleys – pushed to the shallows by a huge wave. The crew declared a mayday while sailing the vessel from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland to Heysham.

The accident, which left the ship stricken for the best part of a year, and the major rescue mission which involved three helicopters, two lifeboats, and a small army of emergency workers on the shore, attracted significant media attention.

It was a dramatic sight. A sight which saw 100,000 tourists flock to the promenade to catch a glimpse of the Riverdance. The ferry was further bashed by heavy seas and it sank deeper and deeper into the sands.

There was no way of righting it and so salvagers faced the heavy task of breaking it up. We reported extensively on the tenth anniversary back in 2018 and now we rewind with a gallery of photos which captured the scenes and the aftermath.