Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hayling Island ferry fails second safety inspection

Hayling Island ferry
Image caption The Hayling Island ferry is used by schoolchildren and commuters

A passenger ferry which was taken out of service and deemed unsafe has failed a second inspection.

The Pride of Hayling, which travels between Portsmouth and Hayling Island, was inspected last week by coastguards as part of its annual checks.

Life-jackets were "defective" and staff members were not "able to cope" with a set of emergency scenarios put to them.

The coastguard said although progress had been made by the ferry's operator the ship failed a second inspection.

Operator Edwards and Co said the crew were working to address the concerns.

Long round trip

Owner Freda Edwards said the service would be resumed as soon as possible.

The service has been running for more than 200 years linking Hayling Island to Portsmouth.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said a number of issues remained regarding the vessel's "ability to respond to key emergency scenarios".

The agency said it regretted that it was "unable to permit the ferry to return to service".

The ferry is used by 70 children to get to school each day and can travel up to 30 times a day during the week.

The only alternative to the three-minute ferry ride is a 30-mile round trip by road.

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