Red Funnel has been forced to suspend its hi-speed service between West Cowes and Southampton as both Red Jet 6 and Red Jet 7 have been hit by technical issues.
As previously reported by Island Echo, Red Jet 7 has suffered an engine breakdown this week forcing the vessel to be pulled from service. A low fuel pressure alert was discovered on the outer main engine, which was then fixed. However, just hours later the fault returned and the vessel has been moored up since.
Now, Red Jet 6 has also developed an unknown fault with has led to customers being advised to travel on the vehicle ferry service to East Cowes instead.
Island Echo is told that a sign has been erected at Southampton advising passengers that the service has been suspended until further notice.
It’s unclear why Red Jet 4 – which is moored up in Southampton – is not able to run a 1-boat service.
UPDATE @ 13:42 – Red Funnel has released a statement regarding the suspension revealing that a ‘pinhole fracture’ has been discovered in the hull of Red Jet 6.
A spokesperson said:
“This morning we identified a pinhole fracture in the hull on the starboard side of Red Jet 6. In accordance with our safety procedures, we have had to remove the vessel from service in order to facilitate the repair plan. Unfortunately, while Red Jet 7 also remains out of service at this time, our Hi-Speed service is currently suspended. Our engineers are working hard to get both back in service as quickly as possible and we will provide an update on this evening’s services later today.
“We sincerely apologise for the disruption to our passengers’ journeys and we are keeping customers updated through text alerts, social media updates and our live service status. We encourage customers to consider using our vehicle ferry service as an alternative option, which is currently running to timetable. Foot passengers using this service and needing to travel between East Cowes and West Cowes will be able to use the Jenny Lee boat or water service taxi at no extra cost if they state they are a Red Funnel customer.”
UPDATE @ 18:25 – Red Funnel has confirmed that the Red Jet service will remain suspended for the remainder of the day.
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