An extra boatload of passengers was stranded on Lundy Island over the weekend after the MS Oldenburg broke down.

Island manager Derek Green said the island had 79 more people than expected after rope became wrapped around both propellers of the Oldenburg.

Thankfully it was already docked at the island on Saturday afternoon (April 6) but it meant those people booked on it to go home had to stay, alongside the new arrivals.

Both Ilfracombe and Appledore lifeboats attended the ship early on Saturday evening to ensure she remained safely at dock until a tug could arrive from South Wales.

The tow to Ilfracombe got underway just after midnight and the Ilfracombe crew got home at 2.15am, with the Appledore crew accompanying the ship back and finding their beds at 4.15am.

Back on Lundy, Mr Green said people were accommodated at the Marisco Tavern as well as in the homes of staff members.

He said: “The staff did a sterling job of making sure everybody was looked after. I’d just like to give thanks to everybody that acted to ensure the Oldenburg got safely back to Ilfracombe and I would also like to thank the islanders for their resilience.”

The Oldenburg is expected to collect the stranded passengers this afternoon (Monday, April 8) and will be resuming its normal sailing schedule tomorrow.

Ilfracombe RNLI launched again yesterday (Sunday), to assist the ship into dock at Ilfracombe.

It went back to Lundy later in the day to collect a passenger who required medication plus a further five people including two who were scheduled for surgery in the next 48 hours and a hospital surgeon.

Coxswain Leigh Hanks said: “This was a big team effort from the station. Some of the crew had only returned to station at 2.15am this morning and had only got to bed at 3.45am before they were paged again to assist at 7.25.

“Conditions for bringing the MS Oldenburg back into port were testing with a fresh easterly wind and the fact that the ship weighs almost 300 tons. The crew train extensively for situations like this and we do take part in joint training with the MS Oldenburg in case of emergencies as we are her home port.”