Hovertravel respond to criticism over service suspension

The company say they put safety of passengers first and their pilots explain the reasons behind the decision to suspend the service this morning.

Hovertravel - escape the festival

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.”

Update 12.45:
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.

Friday, 6th April, 2018 12:00pm


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Filed under: Hover, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Top story

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3 Comments on "Hovertravel respond to criticism over service suspension"

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I was out on the Solent this morning in a vessel with similar windage to the hovercraft and small draught and the water was surprisingly lumpy.
Those wingeing customers would be the first to complain if their journey was uncomfortable.


Yep I can confirm there was a breeze running against the tide, white caps and even the car ferry was rocking about.
Hovertravel may suffer abuse for cancelling crossings but ultimately the pilots word is final, they spend years gaining experience flying, yet occasional passengers think they know best!


I was on the fast cat that day and the captain advised that it would be rough on the crossing .
The hover was absolutely right not to cross