Unusual levels of staff sickness and engine faults on two ferries have caused major disruption to Wightlink services – with the cancellation of 17 sailings today (Thursday).

Crossings on both the Yarmouth to Lymington and Fishbourne to Portsmouth routes have been severely affected.

Crossings are also taking longer than normal due to the introduction of a 25-knot wind restriction.

Wightlink has apologised for the reliability issues affecting car ferry routes that have caused disruption.

Cancelled sailings today (Dec 12)

Fish-Ports: 7.25am, 10.30am, 11am, 1pm.

Ports-Fish: 6.20am, 8.30am, 10am, 12pm.

Yar-Lym: 7.45am, 8.45am, 12.05pm, 2.05pm, 4.05pm, 6.05pm.

Lym-Yar: 7.50am, 8.50am, 10.05am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm.

Wightlink Chief Executive, Keith Greenfield, said:

“We have experienced minor engine faults on two of our ships – Wight Light and Victoria of Wight. In both cases the vessels are still in service while we address the issues but we have imposed a 25 knot wind restriction as a precaution.

“I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused to people’s travel plans at this busy time of the year. We are doing everything we can to return both routes to normal service as quickly as possible but we have to put safety first by imposing this wind restriction.

“Unfortunately, we have also been affected by unusual levels of staff sickness which caused some services to be cancelled while a replacement was sourced.”