Update on Scillonian III Sailings

The Scillonian III will depart at 1pm this afternoon (Tues 3rd May). Passengers booked on today’s 4:30pm sailing are being asked to check in at 11am.

Council staff opened up an emergency accommodation at their Carn Thomas offices and hall yesterday to provide shelter for visitors stranded on Saint Mary’s after the second sailing of the Scillonian III was cancelled.

The 9:45 ferry to the mainland spent three hours circling Mounts Bay with 450 passengers on board after conditions worsened in the strong easterly winds.

The voume of water crashing onto the lighthouse pier in Penzance made it unsafe to dock and the captain had to wait until high tide before accessing Albert Pier and vessels had to be moved to accommodate the ferry.

The Steamship Company hopes to depart from St Mary at 1pm today and there are 350 people booked to sail on that boat.

Some of those  delayed yesterday have been taken to the mainland by plane and
helicopters chartered by the Steamship Company.

British international helicopters negotiated with the council to open the airport until 8pm and used a second helicopter to try and move as many people as possible.

Julian Pearce from St Mary's TIC

Julian Pearce from the Tourist Information Centre said that the situation is a ‘worse case scenario’ and could ruin what has been a great weekend for many people.

But he praised the work of the two staff in the TIC saying they had taken hundreds of calls and worked late into the evening.

He also said there had been a fantastic response from the accommodation providers on the Islands, with all stranded passengers being found somewhere to stay.

Queues at the Steamship Company offices on Monday

The Chief Executive of the Steamship Company Jeff Marston said the only issue for them was safety of passengers.

They knew the crossing would not be smooth but didn’t anticipate such bad conditions and said there were no mechanical problems.

The majority of passengers took it in their stride but some on board the boat complained when they  were denied complimentary drinks of tea during the delay.

Amy from Falmouth was looking forward to getting home last night, but was taking the delay in her stride, saying after two days camping in wet and windy weather, she was “looking forward to sleeping in a warm hall and getting a hot shower”.

The full statement from the Steamship Co is as follows:

NOTICE TO PASSENGERS

Tuesday 3rd May

The Scillonian III will depart St Marys at 1pm

Those passengers who were due to sail on the 4.30 sailing this afternoon are asked to check in from 11am

Please leave your contact details at the St Marys Travel Centre

Passengers displaced from yesterday will be contacted as soon as their travel has been arranged.