PASSENGERS on board an Isle of Wight ferry from Portsmouth had to return to port after it lost power and hit a buoy.
The Wight Ryder I catamaran lost power as it was leaving Portsmouth Harbour early on Friday morning.
It meant the vessel could not be steered and it struck the four-bar buoy in the approach to the harbour.
The vessel turned around and off-loaded its passengers before engineers went on board to inspect the catamaran.
Nobody was injured.
A spokesman for Wightlink said: ‘Wight Ryder I suffered a temporary loss of power on the way out of Portsmouth Harbour. It resulted in a loss of steering and a minor collision with the buoy.
‘Engineers carried out checks on the engines but it has not been established what caused it.’
The Queen’s Harbour Master has put out a notice to mariners warning them of the damage to the buoy.
The top mark of the buoy has been removed and a temporary light fitted while repairs are carried out.
The four-bar buoy is used to mark the approach channel to Portsmouth Harbour.
It warns big ships where there are places of low water around the entrance to the harbour where it is unsafe for them to travel.
The Isle of Wight ferry was on its way to Ryde when the collision happened.
Wight Ryder 1 entered service in September 2009.