An ongoing incident involving police at Wightlink’s Portsmouth Gunwharf terminal is causing disruption this morning (Thursday), with the cross-Solent operator already reporting delays of 2 hours.
Hampshire Police are asking people to avoid the terminal area and confirm that travel to the island will be disrupted.
At this point, it’s unclear exactly what prompted the emergency response, but Wightlink says it’s customer-related.
Isle Echo understands that the 3am departure from Portsmouth did not work, the last ferry arriving at the port – the Victoria of Wight – just before 2am.
Those traveling to and from the island should be prepared for significant disruptions throughout the morning and potentially the rest of the day.
UPDATE @ 05:57 – Wightlink is now advising that the Portsmouth-Fishbourne service has been suspended until further notice.
Customers are kindly requested not to arrive before being notified. An update is expected around 6:30 am.
UPDATE @ 06:20 – Island Echo understands that the incident at the Wightlink terminal in Portsmouth has now been resolved.
The circumstances of the incident are still unknown, which caused islanders and tourists to be several hours late.
Wightlink has yet to release updated guidance for passengers, but an update is expected shortly.
UPDATE @ 06:30 – Although the incident has been “resolved”, Wightlink has announced that its service between Fishbourne and Portsmouth is to remain suspended – although no indication has so far been given on how long.
A spokesperson for Wightlink said Island Echo:
“All customers booked on this route today are likely to be affected.
“We will keep them informed by email this morning. “
UPDATE @ 07:24 – Island Echo Understands that Portsmouth Police and the Hillhead Coast Guard Rescue Team were called to Wightlink’s Gunwharf Terminal around 3 a.m. this morning after a drunk passenger threatened to jump overboard shortly time before the vessel leaves its berth.
The harbor master had ordered the vessel to remain in its place due to concerns about the passenger who was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Wightlink says its Fishbourne service to Portsmouth has now resumed, but passengers are experiencing delays of around 1 hour.
UPDATE @ 10:23 – Hampshire Constabulary confirmed she was called in over a ‘public order incident’ shortly after 3:00 am after a group of 6 refused to leave the Portsmouth terminal.
Police said a man boarded the ferry before refusing to leave, in which case specialist officers were enlisted.
A 31-year-old Isle of Wight man has since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespassing and public nuisance.