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Ferries continue through the bad weather

TOUGH GOING Tugs are helping a Wightlink ferry in Portsmouth Harbour

TOUGH GOING Tugs are helping a Wightlink ferry in Portsmouth Harbour

 

FERRIES are still running between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight despite the bad weather.

Wightlink Ferries are still taking passengers to and from the Isle of Wight even though the strong winds and heavy rain continues.

Three car ferries are operating tonight between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, the fourth, the St Clare, has been moored nearby in the Portsmouth International Ferry Port.

Earlier today, at around 3.30pm, because of the high winds in the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour, the Captain of the St Clare decided conditions were too difficult for the ship to enter the main Wightlink berth at Gunwharf Quays.

He took the decision to wait outside in the main harbour. But after the high winds continued, the St Clare docked at the Portsmouth International Ferry Port, which is used by the cross channel ferries.

Wightlink’s other three car ferries, the St Faith, St Cecilia and St Helen are continuing to sail between Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne on a shuttle service and priority is being given to booked customers.

Passengers who want to change their booking to tomorrow, Christmas Eve, can do so free of charge.

Sean Millward, head of port operations, said: ‘We know many customers want to travel to and from the Isle of Wight for Christmas and we will do our best to take them there.

‘However, as safety is always our first priority, we will not sail if it is not safe to do so. Customers should check our website for the latest news on services during the storm.’

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The St Clare was getting help from two tugs after it could not berth at Gunwharf at around 3.30pm.

The ferry has now gone to Portsmouth International Port.

An office worker who snapped the ferry said: ‘The wind is pushing it up across and up the harbour.

‘She’s currently between the Gosport side and the Portsmouth ferry dock.

‘The Gosport ferry is having to go around it.

‘It really is quite bad out there.’

It comes as Gosport Ferry is currently operating a single boat service.

A statement from Wightlink said the St Clare ferry had difficulty entering the main berth at Gunwharf Quays.

It said: ‘As a precautionary measure the Queens Harbour Master also provided the St Clare with two tugs to ensure she was able to remain safe within the harbour.

‘After 45 minutes the wind did not subside adequately and a decision to discharge at the Portsmouth International Port was taken so as not to inconvenience customers any more than necessary.’

Meanwhile, strong winds are buffeting the area and seafront roads in Portsmouth have been closed.

For more information visit wightlink.co.uk/updates

 

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