A major engine failure has caused massive delays for people travelling on the 7am Fishbourne to Portsmouth ferry onboard Wightlink’s St Clare.
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Just minutes before departure the captain of the ferry called up the Starboard engine that failed to come on line due to a faulty starter motor.
The captain advised that normally the vessel would be safe to sail across the Solent with only three engine but due to force eight gales blowing at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour there could be safety issues.
The 7am still remains at Fishbourne whilst engineers frantically try and carry out emergency repairs.
If the repair isn’t successful the weekend time table is set to be serverly
The service has now cancelled and everyone onboard has been made to disembark after onboard engineers failed to fix the vessel.
The Wightlink Fishbourne to Portsmouth service now only has one available boat to carry out a service.
Under Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament, if you are delayed during your journey, or the journey is cancelled, you have a legal right to refunds, compensation and other benefits such as food and drink.
You have a right to adequate and timely information about what is happening and should be informed no later than 30 minutes after the scheduled time of departure
If your crossing is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 90 minutes, you should be immediately offered either:
a) a refund (paid within 7 days) and where necessary receive a free return journey back to your initial departure point if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of the trip
b) transportation, at the earliest opportunity and under similar conditions, to your final destination at no extra cost (i.e. taking a different route)
If your crossing departure is cancelled or delayed by more than 90 minutes you are entitled free meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, provided they are available or can reasonably be supplied
If your arrival at your destination is delayed by 1 hour you are entitled to a minimum 25% compensation on the ticket price. If the crossing is delayed by 2 hours you are entitled to 50% compensation.
If the ticket is based on a return crossing, compensation will be paid at the above rates for the affected leg of the journey only, calculated at 50% of the total ticket price. For example: you have paid £100 for a return ticket and you arrive in Portsmouth 2 hours later than planned. You are entitled to 50% compensation for that leg, which would be £25 – 50% of £50.
The operator has 1 month to pay your compensation from the date the request is made. The compensation can be paid in flexible vouchers, but shall be paid in money if you request so.
You will not receive compensation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters. This could include, but is not limited to, strong winds, heavy seas, strong currents, difficult ice conditions and extremely high or low water levels, hurricanes, tornados and floods.
Passengers who hold a travel pass or a season ticket and who encounter recurrent delays in arrival during its period may request adequate compensation in accordance with the operator’s compensation arrangements.
The compensation policy for Wightlink, according to their website, differs somewhat to the EU regulation. Wightlink say if the arrival of your sailing is delayed by 60 to 120 minutes, you can claim 25% of the fare paid for that crossing. If the delay is over 120 minutes, you can claim 50% of the fare paid for that crossing.
If your sailing is delayed by more than 90 minutes they will offer you a drink. If it is delayed for more than 4 hours they will offer a light snack and for delays of 8 hours or more a hot meal will be offered.
To be eligible for compensation you must have checked in at least 30 minutes before your booked sailing. Wightlink will not pay compensation for severe weather or circumstances beyond Wightlink’s control, such as restrictions placed by the Queen’s Harbour Master.
Wightlink will give you a 10% bonus if you accept compensation through vouchers. Claims for compensation can be made at https://www.wightlink.co.uk/go/service-status/ferry-disruption-compensation/.