A RED Funnel car ferry has run aground, hit moored yachts and prompted a search and rescue mission in the Solent this morning (Sunday).

A spokesperson from UK Coastguard said they received a call at 8.16am that the Red Falcon had run aground just off East Cowes, hitting a couple of moored vessels.

Cowes RNLI, Calshot RNLI and the Coastguard Rescue Teams from Bembridge and Ventnor are undergoing a search for any persons in the water.

The spokesperson confirmed there were shouts for help heard around the time of the incident but it is not clear whether they were related and whether any persons are in danger.

UPDATE: A witness waiting to board the Red Falcon at East Cowes told the County Press the car ferry hit the yachts coming in to East Cowes and was unable to berth, leaving passengers from Southampton onboard the ferry.

She said: "We were told that the ferry had run aground and the crew were waiting for a tug from Southampton."

UPDATE: Red Funnel have posted on Twitter that their car ferry is running with at least an hour delay — due to adverse weather conditions.

The Red Jet has also been suspended due to weather conditions.

UPDATE 10:05am: A spokesperson from UK Coastguard confirmed the crews have not spotted anyone in the water.

There has been no confirmation that there is anyone in the water but the pre-emptive search is ongoing.

UPDATE 10:30am:

A tug has arrived from Southampton. The Esplanade is packed with onlookers waiting to see what will happen next.

Isle of Wight County Press:

RNLI crews circle the vessel, watch below:

Isle of Wight County Press:

A tug arrives at East Cowes, watch below:

Isle of Wight County Press:

Photos and videos by Jennifer Thompson.

UPDATE: From the West Cowes side of the River Medina, you can see the mast of the sunken yacht.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Photo by George Chastney.

UPDATE 11am: Four hours after the vessel left Southampton this morning (Sunday), the Red Falcon is now making its way into the East Cowes terminal.

UPDATE 11:30: A spokesperson from Red Funnel said: "The ferry involved in the grounding incident at East Cowes in dense fog this morning has been refloated and all passengers and vehicles have been safely discharged.

"A revised vehicle service will operate for the rest of today."