For the second day this week, the Cowes floating bridge is out of service.
The service came to a halt at around 12.40pm today (Thursday). The Isle of Wight council say the suspension is due to a “mechanical issue”. Unconfirmed reports are that the failure is due to problem associated with south east prow lifting mechanism.
The Cowes floating bridge is currently out of service due to a mechanical issue.
A foot passenger launch is in place.
More information will be provided in due course.
— IOW Council Official (@iwight) August 9, 2018
Second time this week
On Wednesday, huge queues formed in East Cowes when the bridge was suspended after becoming grounded.
Those intending to head to Cowes from the East for the Friday night firework display will be keeping their fingers crossed that the problem is swiftly resolved.
Ward: “Important we are provide people with good floating bridge service”
Just last week Cllr Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said:
“Lendy Cowes Week 2018 is a chance to showcase our Island and attract visitors to our shores.
“It is, therefore, important that we are able to provide people with a good floating bridge service during this period.”
OnTheWight got in touch with the IWC to ask exactly what the problem was, but have yet to hear back. We also asked what contingency would be in place in addition to the Jenny Boat, should the bridge not be fixed by Friday night.
The IWC provided this response
Special arrangements have been taken to ensure Cowes Floating Bridge runs its usual service for Cowes firework night.
Following a mechanical issue with a prow hinge today (Thursday), the vessel was taken out of service and replaced with a passenger launch, running until 11pm.
The launch will continue to operate from 5am on Friday but the floating bridge will return to service for foot passengers from 6pm until 3am, as usual for Cowes Week firework night.
Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said:
“This issue was totally unexpected but officers have worked quickly to address the situation.
“Working alongside the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Cowes harbourmaster, everyone has made every effort to ensure the vessel is operational for firework night.
“We run the service for foot passengers from 6pm, as we do every year during Cowes firework night.
“We have contacted the Mainstay, who built the floating bridge, and they will be investigating the problem with the aim of making a full repair as soon as possible.”
Revised timetable as follows:
Now until 11pm – foot passenger launch in place
Foot passenger launch from 5am until 6pm, replaced by the floating bridge for foot passengers only until 3am, as usual for Cowes Week.
Saturday and Sunday TBC
Any further updates on the floating bridge service will be placed on the council’s website and social media platforms.
Image: East Cowes Mayor, Peter Lloyd at the floating bridge