Fire alert on cross-Solent hovercraft

The Island Express hovercraft
The Island Express hovercraft
A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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An investigation is underway after firefighters were called to a blaze alert on a cross-Solent hovercraft.

The drama happened shortly after the Hovertravel craft arrived at Ryde after a flight from Southsea last night.

Passengers were already off the Island Express craft when the fire alert was triggered in the starboard engine.

There was some disruption to services between Southsea and Ryde today after the incident, which is being investigated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

A spokesman from Hovertravel said: ‘Hovertravel can confirm that the fire service was called at 9.16pm yesterday.

‘As part of the normal close-down procedure on Island Express, a fire alarm was raised and as per standard procedure the fire shutters and extinguishers were activated.

‘The fire service was notified and arrived on the scene at 9.20pm. There were no passengers on-board the hovercraft and there were no passengers on the pad. The fire service left the scene at 10.25pm.

‘Hovertravel is investigating the cause and has notified and is working with the relevant authorities.’