Wightlink ferry makes ‘light contact with a navigation post’

Wightlink say a ferry on the Yar-Lym route “experienced a technical problem to its forward propulsion system this morning.”

W-class ferry: Lymington Yarmouth route

This statement in from Wightlink. More to follow – Ed.

Wightlink’s Lymington to Yarmouth ferry Wight Sun experienced a technical problem to its forward propulsion system this morning (3 Aug) shortly after leaving Lymington at 10:15.

Following assistance from the Lymington Harbour Master’s motor launch, Wight Sun continued on its journey to Yarmouth where passengers and vehicles disembarked in the usual way. During the manoeuvre in the Lymington River, the ferry made light contact with a navigation post which was undamaged. It also briefly touched a small boat moored next to a barge containing rocks for breakwater work, leaving scratches.

Wight Sun has now been withdrawn from service for investigations and is back at Lymington. The other two vessels on the route, Wight Sky and Wight Light are operating as usual between Lymington and Yarmouth. There will be some delays to the service for the rest of the day and for the early part of Monday 4 August.

Image: davidcjones under a CC BY 2.0 license

Sunday, 3rd August, 2014 5:30pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2cb5

Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Yarmouth

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

16 Comments on "Wightlink ferry makes ‘light contact with a navigation post’"

newest oldest most voted
The Sciolist

The Wightlink curse ‘strikes’ again? This time, a post and another boat.

What next?

retired Hack
It would be instructive to know whether the “manoeuvre” the Wightlink ferry was doing in the Lymington River involved trying to pass another (equally oversized) Wightlink ferry coming the other way. This is a “manoeuvre” not normally attempted these days – the need for one ferry to wait outside the river while the other comes down is the main reason their timetable has been so unreliable. I… Read more »
retired Hack
The answer to the last point appears to be yes. This from the Lymington Harbour website (illustrated by a picture of one of the new ferries): In Short Reach (as the river bends to the right) there are two red and white transit posts lit by fixed white directional lights to the west of the river at the south end and two black and white posts similarly… Read more »
Island Monkey

Yes, in the good old days, this was but a pleasant 30 minute crossing. The new giant ferries managed to increase that to 40 minutes as a minimum. Progress, Macquarrie owned Wightlink style.

mike starke
With this Wightlink incident. And with other recent incidents, like the collapse of a hydraulic deck. With the driving down of staffing levels… Does no one yet catch on? Mcquarie, the merchant bank that owns Wightlink, and several other “essential” services, is in business to make money for its investors. Not to provide an efficient ferry/road/whatever service. Vinci-Meridiam, the parent company of Island Roads, is in the… Read more »
The Sciolist

As ever, wise words Mike.

Are you still a lay-inspector for Island Roads? If so, have you found out why the roads are being simply skimmed and having just a thin top coat of tarmac laid.

This is certainly not the rebuilding we were promised by the PFI obsessed wicked Tories.

retired Hack
Good question. I distinctly remember the roadshows fronted by Jay Jayasundara and Eddie Giles, when we were given a little homily about how the island’s roads were really glorified cart tracks, which had never been properly based; and how they were going to have to be dug up and started on again; and how they were going to be transformed from Britain’s worst roads into Britain’s best.… Read more »
mike starke
You are too kind, Sciolist. Yes; I am still a lay assessor (LA). But all the nine of us (they wanted 24) are allowed to do is check if signs are in the right place and workers are properly dressed and jolly. We are specifically excluded from commenting on the road works themselves. It’s a PR job, basically, and saves them some money on ex-County Hall mouthpiece… Read more »
Peter Mitchell
Rather puzzled about the problem of ferries passing in the Lymington river. They might look big but they are only marginally wider and longer than the old ones. I ‘drove’ the “C” class for 17 years, bought 2 of the Wight Class back from Croatia and operated them in the river for several years until my retirement. As for the loss of the forward propeller – I… Read more »
Thanks for the info about IR needing an extra 15 or so LAs,i applied when first item came out in local press,and twice since, but to date have never had a reply,perhaps it is because of how you describe what you are allowed to do,i would be over qualified,as i spent over 20 years doing the same type of work as they are supposed to be doing… Read more »
Wightlink are suffering from reliability issues with almost all the classes of vehicle ferry that they use. What happens if Wightlink suffer from a sudden financial or operational collapse and can no longer function? As their cross Solent links are vital to the island’s economy what contingency plans are in place at local or central government level to ensure that we can continue to travel by these… Read more »

Interesting to see the response of the Lymington River Association to this incident and their proposals for minimizing the risk of further such incident without making timekeeping even worse for WL users.


As usual wise words and keen observations on this blog.

Macquarie/Wightlink are still failing to deal with the debt to themselves,which have caused their limitations, and the effect on profit margins, are compounded by less sailings at too high a price.

The depreciation of the capital invested is now showing through with the inadequate maintenance schedules as predicted.


Another breakdown on the Yarmouth Lymington route reported this afternoon (Monday)


The odds of something going wrong on any particular sailing seem to be shortening all the time …