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Daytrippers 'traumatised' after weekend stranding

Two daytrippers have said they are reluctant to visit Scilly again after being stranded over the weekend.

The girls were among hundreds stuck on the islands due to adverse weather on Thursday and Friday, resulting in urgent calls for last-minute accommodation.

The friends, both in their early 20s, had booked a day trip to St Mary's for June 1st, arriving via the Scillonian and departing on Skybus as the return boat was full. It was vital that both made it back to the mainland on the same day as one had a flight to catch to get home to Ireland at 5pm on Saturday and the other, a radiographer at Treliske, had final exams for her MA in London at 9.30am on Monday.

They were welcomed on to the Scillonian with no mention of potential problems with return flights. The journey across to the islands was described as "lovely and calm", with a sighting of dolphins.

One of the girls told This is Scilly: "We were made aware of potential flight problems by a friend who was on the islands at the time and so arrived at the airport for our 4.40pm return flight around 3pm.

"The staff at the airport knew we had to get back and that we were happy to travel separately and even change final destination point if this was necessary to leave the islands on June 1st."

However, flights from both Newquay and Land's End were grounded. Around 7pm it was announced that all further flights were cancelled and any remaining passengers would be transferred to an additional Scillonian sailing on Sunday. This would mean that the girls would miss both the return flight to Ireland and the train to London for exams.

They continued: "The airport staff did explain that there was nothing they could do as all transport off the islands for the Saturday were fully booked, hence the requirement for an additional sailing on the Sunday."

There were two sailings on Saturday due to half term, but there were no spaces left. The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group put on an additional sailing on Sunday to try to clear the backlog of stranded passengers.

Eventually, the two girls found accommodation for Friday night at Mundesley Boarding House and booked the Falcon jet boat to depart St Mary's early Saturday morning.

"Being daytrippers we had no toiletries (or anything else) and so had to buy them from the Co-op. Clean clothing, nightwear etc simply could not be sourced. Wez and Erica at Mundesley were amazing in their hospitality and we are eternally grateful to Falcon Boating for getting us back to Penzance in time to make all our booked connections."

They added: "The whole experience was extremely traumatic and has made us reluctant to visit the islands again."


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