THE POPULAR Waverley paddle steamer has been withdrawn from service for 2019.

An appeal has been launched to save the Waverley, a regular and popular visitor to the Island, which has been withdrawn from service for the first time in 45 years due to mechanical problems.

The 73-year-old ship is the last seagoing passenger-carrying steamer in the world and regularly drops off and picks up visitors from IW destinations such as Yarmouth and Ryde.

However, ongoing work on the ship's boilers has been not been successful and they need to be replaced.

Waverley Excursions general manager Paul Semple said: "The whole Waverley team is deeply disappointed that we are unable to repair the ship's boilers and operate this season despite every effort being made to overcome the challenges presented.

"I know first-hand the fondness that the general public have for Waverley and I know this news will be disappointing for the tens of thousands of passengers who would have sailed with us this year.

"However, Waverley can sail again if we can raise the funds required to purchase and install new boilers."

The appeal is asking for donations to save the ship. They can be made via its website or by texting STEAM 20 to 70085 to donate £20.

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