Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cowes 'floating bridge' ferry halted over 'weather'

Cowes floating bridge Image copyright IOW Council
Image caption The new £3.2m service resumed on 7 June following its suspension due to "training issues" by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Isle of Wight's troubled new "floating bridge" was suspended from service earlier over "weather conditions".

Isle of Wight Council said the vessel was halted "as a precaution due to anticipated high winds and low tides".

A launch was used to ferry foot passengers from 05:00 BST with the ferry resuming service from 07:00.

The vessel has had a bumpy launch: it broke down a day after starting service on 14 May leading to its suspension and has also grounded since its re-launch.

Image copyright Karl Love
Image caption Passengers were helped from the stricken chain ferry when it broke down for the first time on its first weekend in service
Image caption Vehicles have experienced issues disembarking from the new ferry with many scraping their bumpers

The council said a build up of silt that caused the first grounding when the new £3.2m service was resumed on 7 June had been cleared.

The re-launch followed its suspension due to "training issues" on its second day in service on 15 May by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).

What caused the grounding on 10 June is yet to be revealed by the authority.

The chain ferry, which operates between Cowes and East Cowes, was brought after its predecessor was retired in January and cuts a 10-mile road diversion for drivers.

On Friday more than 130 campaigners who have nicknamed the chain ferry "Floaty McFloatfarce" protested against a range of design faults on the ferry.

Image caption More than 130 people turned out to protest against the floating bridge, which has been nicknamed Floaty McFloatfarce

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