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News - 07/06/17

New Cowes Chain Ferry commissioning works

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) continues to work with the Isle of Wight Council (IWC) throughout the ongoing Chain Ferry commissioning works to ensure that navigational safety is maintained. 

During the Chain Ferry consultation and design phase, CHC obtained confirmation from the IWC that the new Chain Ferry would not reduce navigational depths over the chains in the River Medina. In addition, the IWC confirmed that the new design would allow the chains to be lengthened if necessary, after any capital dredge to increase depths within the river, thereby ‘future proofing’ the harbour to allow for larger and deeper draught vessels, both commercial and leisure. 

The Cowes Harbour Master advised mariners in a recent Local Notice to Mariners that there is potential for a reduction in depths over the chains during the Chain Ferry commissioning works. Additional safety control measures are also being introduced whilst these works are underway and a new Notice to Mariners will be issued once the commissioning works have been completed. 

UPDATED 28TH JUNE 2017: Local Notice to Mariners No. 15(T) of 2017 has been issued: COWES CHAIN FERRY – Clearance Depths and Further Commissioning Works

UPDATED 29TH JUNE 2017: The Isle of Wight Council has issued a press release – Floating bridge timetable update

UPDATED 14th JULY 2017:

Further commissioning works were carried out on the 11th July with the scope of increasing depths over the chains. Whilst this was achieved on the north chain, further work will be required in order to achieve similar results on the southern chain.The Isle of Wight Council and their engineering consultants are reviewing the results from the 11th, prior to a further stage of works. The clearance depths highlighted in Local Notice to Mariners No. 15(T) of 2017 are still valid.

• UPDATED 18TH JULY 2017: IW Council reports Chain Ferry enters final commissioning stage