Breaking News First reported by Island Echo

MCA FORCES NEW FLOATING BRIDGE TO BE PULLED FROM SERVICE

UPDATED: The brand new Cowes Floating Bridge has been suspended for the second time in just 24 hours and just 2 days after entering service.

The £3.2million vessel was hit by a total loss of power as it departed East Cowes yesterday morning (Sunday), resulting in passengers and vehicles being stranded on board. The service has now been suspended once again – this time on the Cowes side of the River Medina.

A short time ago – at around 11:00 – a number of vehicles drove onto the floating bridge but were soon told to disembark again. Meanwhile passengers are now being shuttled across the Medina via a foot passenger launch.

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It remains unclear as to what has caused the service to be suspended for the second time. It appears there is power to the vessel’s ramps.

Within just hours of Floating Bridge No. 6 beginning its 25-year career on Saturday afternoon, it came under fire due to vehicles being unable to disembark without scraping the slipway. The matter is yet to be resolved.

UPDATE @ – The Isle of Wight Council has confirmed that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have forced the new floating bridge to be pulled from service with immediate effect.

In a statement the Council has said:

“Following an approach from the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) this morning regarding the teething issues encountered by the floating bridge during the weekend, the service is currently suspended. The council is consulting with the MCA to confirm that all issues have been resolved necessary for the service to resume.

“The electrical fault that caused issues on Sunday has since been identified and fixed.

“It was anticipated that during the first couple of weeks, that there would be a few minor issues to be ironed out, some of which could not be identified until the vessel was back in service and in full use.

It has been confirmed that embarkation and disembarkation tests were carried out prior to the new floating bridge entering service:

“During the preceding week, the new vessel underwent testing, including trips across the river Medina, embarkation and disembarkation with vehicles. It had always been anticipated that, as with any new vehicle, there would be a period of time for staff and users to become used to its operation. We would encourage all vehicle users to drive slowly onto and off of the floating bridge.

“We would like thank those involved in the issues encountered over the weekend for their patience and understanding, and to our staff for helping to enable passengers to disembark while the vessel was inoperable.

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