East Cowes

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New Isle of Wight freight ferry enters service

A new £10m freight ferry for the Isle of Wight has entered service.

Red Kestrel is the first freight-only roll-on-roll-off vessel to operate between Southampton and East Cowes.

Operator Red Funnel hopes the vessel, which can can carry up to 12 full-sized lorries, will free up space on its conventional car ferries.

It was named last month and has since completed a few weeks of sea trials in the Solent.

Red Kestrel's first sailing
Red Funnel

Weather: Warm and sunny

A fine and warm day with a good deal of sunny spells. However, some scattered showers are also likely to develop this afternoon.

Maximum Temperature: 21°C.

Any showers will fade to leave it dry tonight with clear spells and light winds. A rather mild and humid night though with a minimum temperature of 9°C.

European elections 2019: Polls take place

Voters are heading to the polls for the European Parliament elections.

Seventy-three members, known as MEPs, will be elected in nine constituencies in England, and one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each region has a different number of representatives based on its population, with 10 MEPs in the South East.

Polling stations in the UK are open from 07:00 until 22:00.

The results will be announced once all EU nations have voted, with the voting process expected to be completed by 22:00 on Sunday.

Weather: 'Mostly dry and sunny'

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Floating bridge suspended

The Isle of Wight's troubled floating bridge is out of action today while scheduled repairs are carried out to its hinges and guidewheels.

A replacement passenger launch is in operation until 23:00.

The chain ferry has suffered a number of technical faults and service interruptions since entering service in 2017.

Floating Bridge
IOW Council

Weather: 'Cloudier and cooler'

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Chain ferry closes for more repairs

Cowes floating bridge will be out of service again on Tuesday.

The vessel, which launched a year ago, has been beset with problems including running aground and breaking down.

The latest outage is to allow further repairs to hinges and to replace guidewheels.

Foot passengers will be able to cross on a replacement launch service.

Drivers face a detour of up to 10 miles.

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BGT star made island ambassador

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Reggae singer and Britain’s Got Talent star Derek Sandy has been made an Isle of Wight ambassador.

He was given the honour during the interval at last’s night full council meeting.

Derek wowed the BGT judges with his original song, "Welcome to the Isle of Wight", and earned four yeses to go through to the next round.

Managing director of Visit Isle of Wight, Will Myles, presented Derek with a campaign poster, mocked up by the team. He said: "The Visit Isle of Wight website almost crashed that night.

"At 8pm, the page views went up by 165% and the actual individual users went up by 200%. That’s amazing, and thank you to you for doing that."

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Pollution tests off Isle of Wight

Tests are being carried out off the Isle of Wight after a foamy-like substance was reported to the coastguard.

The possible pollution is understood to be in the sea covering a 7km stretch from Fishbourne to Osborne Bay and Cowes Marina.

The coastguard said teams were taking samples to work out what it is.

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Weather: Dry and sunny, but breezy

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Wednesday will be dry and fine with a brisk east-southeasterly breeze making it feel less warm in coastal areas.

A change in the weather is on the way from Thursday, bringing a risk of showers.

Tuesday's weather forecast: Chilly start but dry and bright day

Today there will be some chance of clouds but generally clear skies.

Temperatures will range from low single figures to highs of 20°C.

South weather: Chilly start but dry and bright day

Monday's weather forecast: Dry and sunny today, but rather breezy

Today will be a dry and mostly sunny day with a chance of some cloud.

However, there will be a keen easterly breeze.

Maximum Temperature: 14 to 17°C (57 to 63°F).

Dry and sunny today, but rather breezy

Son denies killing mother by gross negligence

A man has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of his 83-year-old mother.

Anthony Kimber, 61, denied killing his mother Hazel by gross negligence as well as a second charge relating to her of causing the death of a vulnerable adult in August 2015.

The pair shared a home in Ryde Road, Seaview, Isle of Wight, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Kimber was released on unconditional bail to attend trial on 28 October.

Ryde Road

'New evidence' in fishermen cocaine case

New radar data has become available in the case of five fishermen convicted of trying to smuggle cocaine with a street value of £53m into the UK, a criminal appeals charity has said.

The men from the Isle of Wight were jailed for up to 24 years each - combined 104-year prison sentence - for masterminding a smuggling operation after a quarter of a tonne of cocaine was found floating in the sea off the island.

A judge must now decide if the case can be sent back to the Court of Appeal.

The National Crime Agency says it is not appropriate to comment on the case while legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Weather: Early mist will clear to sunny spells

A clear and dry start, but there will be some areas of early morning mist or fog.

There will be long sunny spells throughout the day, but there is a chance of an afternoon shower. Light winds.

It will become rather cloudy this evening and some outbreaks of rain will spread from the west overnight, but it will be quite mild.

Maximum Temperature: 16°C (61°F).

Elementary, my dear Watson - new police dog welcomed

Thames Valley, Hampshire & IoW Dog Section has welcomed a new recruit to its crew, and he looks like a keeper.

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Dragonfly project in Dorset extended

Melanie James

BBC Radio Solent

Dragonfly Logo
You First

A Dorset project to help victims of domestic abuse is to be extended.

The Dragonfly project uses the symbol of a dragonfly to show people in an abusive situation where they can find confidential support and advice.

The project trains people to become champions within communities. They're able to receive and respond to disclosures of domestic violence and abuse.

Funding has now been secured to continue the Dragonfly project in Dorset and to extend it to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex.

Floating bridge out of action

The Isle of Wight's troubled chain ferry has been withdrawn from service.

The council said the ferry would be out of action until at least Friday afternoon after it developed a fault with the prow’s hydraulics.

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Weather: 'Sunny spells and heavy showers'

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Housing benefit resumes after payment failure

Housing benefit payments are now being paid into people’s accounts on the Isle of Wight, after payments to more than 3,000 people failed yesterday.

The council said it was investigating the issue with its bank to ensure a repeat does not occur.

It said bank charges incurred as a result would be covered by the council.

Isle of Wight Council
Lewis clark

Benefits not paid after computer glitch

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A computer glitch has resulted in housing benefit not being paid to residents on the Isle of Wight.

The payments were due to be credited to bank accounts today.

Some residents have reported being unable to pay their rent as a result.

The council said it was investigating and hoped to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Thousands sign mental health care petition

Local Democracy Reporting Service

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition in six days calling on Isle of Wight Council to save mental health services.

Plans to close three mental health day centres on the Isle of Wight have been met with outrage from those who use the service and staff, who have warned it could result in people taking their own lives.

Under the council’s budget proposals, Parkland in Cowes, Riboleau in Ryde and West Wight Day Services in Freshwater plus a satellite centre in Ventnor could be closed to save £145,000.

More than 3,400 people have signed on online petition with a further 704 signing a paper version voicing their support for the service.

Parkland in Cowes

Weather: Dry and sunny

Tuesday will be generally dry with light winds and spells of sunshine.

Generally dry and sunny spells

Good morning

Welcome to Tuesday's South Live.

We'll be bringing you breaking news and updates from Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Oxfordshire until 18:00.

Derek's got talent

Derek Sandy is the pride of the Isle of Wight today after his 'four yes-es' on Britain's Got Talent.

The island's reggae star sang his anthem Welcome to the Isle of Wight on the ITV show on Saturday.

Afterwards, all four BGT judges promised to pay a visit to the island.

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Weather: Mainly dry, sunny spells

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Monday will be largely fine and dry, with a chance of a few showers in Dorset.

Tuesday should be the warmest day of the week with temperatures possibly up to 19C.

'Split time' councillor resigns

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Julia Baker-Smith

An Isle of Wight councillor, who came under scrutiny over her absences from the island, has resigned and moved to Manchester.

In January, Julia Baker-Smith was asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service about her attendance record at council meetings, after she missed three in a year.

She said she was "splitting her time" between the island and the mainland due to family commitments.

The former Labour member for Whippingham and Osborne has now accepted a full-time job in Manchester.

Caterpillar warning on Isle of Wight

Brown tail moth caterpillars

Isle of Wight residents have been warned to be wary of brown-tail moth caterpillars, which have been spotted in Ventnor.

The island's council said people should avoid handling them, because their hairs can break off as barbs, causing skin irritation and breathing difficulties.

Lee Matthews, recreation and public spaces manager, said: "They can cause skin and eye irritation, especially in children."

He added: "We are working closely with Ventnor Town Council and local businesses to manage this year’s influx but if you are unlucky enough to have handled the caterpillars, you may experience a rash together with irritation similar to a severe nettle rash."