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Unexploded bomb found at Portsmouth Harbour

An unexploded wartime bomb has been found at Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire. It is believed the device dates back to World War Two. It was discovered yesterday afternoon, a few hundred metres away from the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the home of the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy made arrangements to tow the device out to open water and detonate it in a controlled explosion this morning. In the meantime ferry and rail services in the area were disrupted for reasons of public safety.

A spokesperson from Wightlink ferries said the firm's scheduled sailings between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight had been affected.

"The discovery of an unexploded bomb in Portsmouth Harbour overnight delayed some of Wightlink Ferries' early sailings this morning.

"The port was closed to all vessels at 05:00 as the Royal Navy prepared to tow the device out of harbour to carry out a controlled explosion in a safe area.

"The 06:00 car ferry sailing from Portsmouth Gunwharf and 07:00 from Fishbourne were cancelled along with the 06:15 catamaran from Portsmouth Harbour and 06:47 from Ryde Pier Head."

– Spokesperson, Wightlink

The port reopened at 6.30am, and services have started again, but passengers are warned that there may be delays.

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Islanders petition to save ferry timetable

A Wightlink ferry Credit: PA

More than one thousand people have signed a petition to force the ferry company Wightlink to continue its night services to the Isle of Wight.

The island's residents believe losing the services wil damage the tourism industry. Wightlink says it is not halting the night crossings, however, but revising its timetable in "response to the challenges which the business faces in today's difficult economic climate".