We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Colin McCourt of East Cowes. Ed
So, the Cowes floating bridge has yet another problem. However, this is not a “simple” matter of electrical problems, noise etc.
Oh no, this is much more serious. There has been a failure of the south chain on the west (Cowes) prow of the floating bridge.
This occurred mid-stream and caused the prow to drop. Now this problem is serious as the chains are load bearing and to have failed in this manner is very serious.
Will we told the truth?
Whether the chain snapped (claimed by some on board) or was a failure of the winching mechanism is something that we may, or may not, be told about.
Given that the council failed to communicate the removal of the floating bridge service for over 12 hours we may never find out.
However, I believe that this is a serious issue and throws into doubt the other three chains which are of identical construction.
Marine Accident Investigation Branch notified
The council have stated that the bridge will be back in service by Monday. However I believe that the Marine Accident Investigation Branch need to know of this serious failure, and I have informed them of the incident.
I have also informed the council and council officers that the MAIB has been informed. We need to ensure that this bridge is built to standard and that sufficient load checking has been carried out.
This must bring into question whether ANY load testing has been carried out correctly and the safe use of the bridge must be questioned.
How long must we go on with this “sub-standard vessel” before the – in my view – intransigent council leader and his officers open their eyes and realise they have a dead duck?
Someone may get hurt if another chain fails/snaps. What would our Council leader have to say then?
Image: Floating bridge at night © the excellent Ferry Spy