Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Wightlink St Helen ferry leaves service

St Helen
Image caption Wightlink Ferries' vessel St Helen has sailed 104,832 times between Fishbourne and Portsmouth

A cross-Solent ferry is being retired from service after more than three decades sailing between between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.

Wightlink Ferries' vessel St Helen has sailed 104,832 times, clocking up 733,824 miles (1,180,975 km) - the equivalent of travelling about 29 times around the world.

Former crew members will be on board for its final day's sailing later.

It has been sold to new owners in the Mediterranean.

Captain Peter Hayes said St Helen had been the "flagship of the fleet".

"She's been so reliable and provided such a good service over these past 32 years, we'll be sorry to see her retire and move to warmer climates," he added.

The Saint Class vessel was the last ship to be built at the Leith shipyard of Henry Robb Shipbuilders and Engineers.

Pupils from St Helen's Primary School in Ryde will also be among those on board for the sailing.

Children from the school had been on board when the ship was inaugurated in 1983.

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