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The troubled Cowes Floating Bridge is being aided across the River Medina by another boat – at extra cost to the Isle of Wight Council.

A ‘workboat’ has been drafted in to assist Floating Bridge No. 6 during an ebb tide. It is effectively pushing the floating bridge into position as it approaches both East and West Cowes.

Last week a broken prow hinge forced the suspension of the popular service on one of the busiest weeks of the year. Emergency work was undertaken to allow the Floating Bridge to run on the annual Cowes Week Firework Night on Friday, but that was with the use of safety boats either side.

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Following repairs over the weekend the chain ferry is now back in service – but the situation is far from ideal.

As previously reported, Wight Shipyard Co have been approached to carry out works.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council has said:

“A workboat, provided by Cowes harbourmaster and funded by the Isle of Wight Council, is being used to assist the floating bridge during the ebb tide.

“The boat helps to create a greater depth of water above the chains, meaning a back up passenger launch is no longer required at these times.

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“The council is working with East Cowes firm Wight Shipyard and shipbuilders Mainstay Marineto find a long-term solution to the issue.”

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