Saints fans and Christmas shoppers from the Isle of Wight have found themselves stuck in Southampton this evening (Saturday, December 2) after Red Funnel battles delays caused by fog in the Solent.

The ferry operator has been operating with delays to its hi-speed passenger service for most of today due to restricted visibility caused by fog on the Solent.

In mid-afternoon, the Red Jet was suspended but returned to timetable at 6pm.

On one of the final sailings before the suspension, passengers were taken back to Southampton - after reaching Cowes - when the vessel could not dock.

Isle of Wight County Press: Red Funnel ferry in fogRed Funnel ferry in fog (Image: IWCP)

Red Funnel's vehicle ferry was also hit by cancellations and delays, further adding to the problem, with passengers onboard Red Osprey this afternoon stranded in the Solent until fog cleared before the ferry could enter Cowes Harbour and dock at East Cowes.

In February 2021, Cowes Harbour Commission gave notice that it would not allow vessels 48 metres and above in length to navigate the harbour during 'restricted visibility'.

Due to busy traffic caused by the fog havoc, many Red Jet passengers expecting to board the ferry at their booking time have been left waiting. Some had been waiting as early as 3.40pm.

Isle of Wight County Press: Unhappy commuters waiting for the next Red JetUnhappy commuters waiting for the next Red Jet (Image: Christopher Jackson)

Isle of Wight County Press: Red Jet boarding passRed Jet boarding pass (Image: Christopher Jackson)

Commuters in Southampton who missed the earlier ferries have been handed boarding passes to ensure their place on the next ferry expected to cast off at 9.10pm, while new arrivals join the queue without one.

With only one member of staff on duty at the terminal, the County Press has been told there is a lack of information or announcements, leaving many people unhappy.

Passengers waiting for the next ferry have gathered for warmth in the dimly lit waiting area, while others brave the freezing conditions in the outside queue area.

Isle of Wight County Press: Southampton's dimly lit Red Jet waiting areaSouthampton's dimly lit Red Jet waiting area (Image: Christopher Jackson)

As if it couldn't get any worse, the coffee shop is closed.

UPDATE: Those with boarding passes have been allowed to board the next Red Jet.

This has caused some upset among those who were not handed a special boarding pass.