UPDATED: Hovertravel have been forced to suspended their cross-Solent service this morning (Sunday) as a technical problem has rendered the last remaining hovercraft inoperable.
The entire operation is being run solely by Island Flyer, which means when a technical issue hits passengers are left stranded on both sides of the Solent.
The less-than-ideal situation is as a result of major issues with Solent Flyer. For the next 6 weeks, a 1-craft only service is in operation as Solent Flyer has been taken back to Southampton for repair works. The works have been deemed so serious they cannot be completed on the pad at Ryde.
Hovertravel say an update will be provided at 10:45.
UPDATE @ 10:42 – A service has now been resumed, in accordance with the revised timetable.
UPDATE @ 12:41 – Lady luck isn’t on Hovertravel’s side today as the service has been suspended for a second time.
Hovertravel are currently not currently between Ryde and Southsea.
A further update is expected at 13:00.
UPDATE @ 13:03 – Hovertravel have confirmed that a pump needs to be replaced, with an estimated repair time of 2 hours.
The next update is due around 14:00.
In an email issued to customers, Hovertravel have said:
“Our primary focus is always safety and we have had to supsend our service today for saftey reasons.
“Our engineers have the responsibility for whether the reliability of the craft meet the safety standards for our operation and we have been advised that due to a requirement to replace a pump, we are unable to operate our advertised timetable at this current time.
“We have been advised that the work will take two hours to complete.
“We thank you for your understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Once again, updates can be received via our app, website, service status hotline in addition to emails such as this”.
UPDATE @ 13:52 – Hovertravel say the next update is expected at 15:00.
UPDATE @ 14:59 – The suspension of service continues this afternoon, despite Hovertravel initially advising that the work would take 2 hours to complete.
UPDATE @ 16:08 – Hovertravel’s service remains suspended.
The next update is due at 17:00.