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ISLE OF WIGHT: Wight Ryder service disrupted

Engine troubles with Wight Ryder II (pictured) meant cancellations and changes to Wightlink’s Portsmouth-Ryde passenger service in late August. Solent and Wight Line’s Solent Cat (2000/74gt) was chartered to cover some sailings, with her crossings taking a few minutes longer than Wight Ryder II and sister craft Wight Ryder I.

Almost as soon as Wight Ryder II returned, Wight Ryder I suffered engine problems of her own, and the beginning of September brought yet more disruption and criticism from commuters who rely on the service to get to work on the mainland.

In defence of the Philippines-built catamarans, Wightlink marketing manager Kerry Jackson said: ‘The Wight Ryders have performed well in comparison to the old FastCats, which were very vulnerable to cancellations due to inclement weather.’

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