Marine hovercraft crash on Thames

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ROYAL Marines were left red-faced when they crashed into a bridge during a military demonstration in London.

A Commando hovercraft was taking part in displays on the River Thames with amphibious warship HMS Bulwark when it crashed into Blackfriars Bridge.

The hovercraft, used by 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, had been going up and down the river as part of the demonstration when it was involved in an incident which damaged the starboard skirt.

Spectators from the nearby Millennium Bridge watched as the damaged craft drifted down river. She was eventually towed away by two marine fast boats.

‘The hovercraft had to slow down under the bridge and was set on to the bridge parapet by the tide,’ said a Ministry of Defence spokesman.

Minor damage was caused to the skirt of the hovercraft in the crash, the spokesman said.

However, the vehicle was able to return to her base unassisted after repairs.

No one was injured in the incident, the MoD said.

HMS Bulwark, which is based in Plymouth, had been conducting training exercises in Portsmouth before the public demonstration in London.