The ferry, whose car deck collapsed last Friday night, was brought back into service by Wightlink at 6:40 this morning.
The craft, which Wightlink say, “Following consultation and with full approval of the authorities”, has “her mezzanine decks safely secured out of use”, will be used to “help us to get as many people to and from the Isle of Wight as possible”, by supporting “the revised timetable which Wightlink is running on its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.”
Seeking to further reassure their customers, Wightlink’s Chief Operating Officer, John Burrows, said
“All of our ships undergo regular, planned maintenance and, even though St Helen’s mezzanine deck is of a different design to our other vessels, we have taken the precaution of having all our mezzanine decks independently inspected and we will continue to check them daily”.
He had previously been on BBC Solent, when he said
“The St Helen has been taken out of service and is sitting alongside in Portsmouth and will not go back into service until we’re confident that the issues has been resolved.”
Update 09:37 Added extra quotes from Wightlink to clarify authorities had approved the vessels return.