Wightlink has come under criticism after one of its sailings departed early, leaving some Isle of Wight key workers hours late for work.

The firm says it asks foot passengers to check-in 15 minutes before its ferries leave, “in case ships need to depart earlier due to operational reasons.”

One key worker has told Isle of Wight Radio that they arrived to board the 6am Fishbourne to Portsmouth sailing at 5.50am on Saturday (16).

However, when they turned up, the Victoria of Wight sailing had already departed. They say this resulted in them being three hours late for work.

A spokesperson for Wightlink has confirmed the ship did depart early:

“On this day, Victoria of Wight sailed 10 minutes before the scheduled sailing time so the crew could transfer on to St Clare without delaying following sailings.

“Foot passengers are asked to check in 15 minutes before sailing in case ships need to depart earlier due to operational reasons.”

As previously reported by Isle of Wight Radio, the Island’s cross-Solent operators are running a skeleton service due to coronavirus.