VISITORS to the Isle of Wight are facing delays after a car ferry was withdrawn from service.

The Wightlink vessel was taken off the Lymington to Yarmouth route after a problem with its forward propulsion system.

Passengers had reported the Wight Sun ferry collided with a barge.

Wightlink bosses initially rubbished the claims but later admitted the ferry “made light contact” with a navigation post and “briefly touched” a small boat.

A spokesman said: “Wightlink's Lymington to Yarmouth ferry Wight Sun experienced a technical problem to its forward propulsion system this morning shortly after leaving Lymington at 10:15am.

“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.”

Two other vessels – Wight Sky and Wight Light – remain on the route but delays are expected to continue tomorrow (MON).