Portsmouth hovercraft suspended over safety fears

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has suspended Hoveltravel's two remaining hovercraft following a recent propeller breakage on the Solent Express

The MCA has taken action over what it calls “inconsistencies” in Hovertravel’s safety management systems, particularly with regards vessel maintenance, following the failure of a propeller on the Solent Express hovercraft on 30 October.

A spokesperson for Hovertravel said, “Further safety checks are to be undertaken to ensure the continued safety of Hovertravel’s fleet.

“It is important to stress the current fleet are different models to the one in service on October 30.”

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Richard Pellew, MCA operations manager for the south east, said, “We are working closely with Hovertravel and the propeller manufacturers to investigate the circumstances around the propeller failure.”

Hovertravel’s ISM Document of Compliance has been removed by the MCA, resulting in the suspension of its 66 daily hovercraft journeys between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

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