Hovertravel has come under fire today following the suspension of their service due to “adverse weather conditions”.
With very little wind in Ryde, passengers say they’re baffled as to why the service would be suspended.
On reader told OnTheWight,
“The wind in the Solent has been ESE 5, gusting no more than 25 knots. Wave height has been well below 1 metre, their operating limit is 1.5 metres. I have a 17ft boat and I’d get across today!”
A spokesperson from Hovertravel told OnTheWight,
“At Hovertravel our primary focus is always safety and we suspended our service today for safety reasons. From the feedback we have received, and the media reports published, we appreciate that there was some disbelief as it is a warm spring day with blue sky and sunshine.
“Our highly trained and experienced pilots have the responsibility for whether the conditions are safe for our operation and they have told us that the facts behind the decision to suspend are that the sea state in the main shipping channel of the Solent is in excess of the operating limits of both craft, generated by wind over tide conditions. Additionally, sea and swell conditions in this wind speed has been reported by our pilots to be unusual.”
They went on to say,
“This is a situation which is constantly monitored, and you may see an empty craft depart Ryde on a sea sortie to assess the conditions across the Solent.
“We understand that customers might like more detail on what causes disruption and following the feedback from today, we will be providing greater explanation for any delay or suspension on the service status page of our website and on our social media channels.”
Following the sea sortie at 1215 Hovertravel pilots have reported there is no change in the conditions. The next update from the company will be at 1330.