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Author Topic: SRN6 tragedy, Southsea, 1972  (Read 3884 times)
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Weebouy
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« on: April 25, 2014, 13:27:34 PM »

The first ever accident in passenger hovercraft history occurred off Southsea on 4 March, 1972, when the Southsea-Ryde craft capsized in rough seas and a wind reported at 45 m.p.h. (38 knots). This was the first fatal hovercraft casualty in the United Kingdom, and regrettably four people were killed. However, on the credit side, the rescue operations were got under way very quickly and 22 people were rescued.

First on the scene was THPV Vigia which arrived one minute before the first helicopter, and despite difficulties in manoeuvring in the heavy seas, 16 people were rescued from the upturned hovercraft and taken to Portsmouth. Vigia returned to the scene of the accident and remained there until the search was called off that evening.
 The hovercraft sank, but was eventually salvaged and towed into Portsmouth harbour. The crew of the Vigia; Officer of the Watch Nicholas Paul Rose, Seaman Edward Viney and Pilotage Assistant Robert Yalden, displayed great courage and outstanding seamanship in a very difficult situation.

Some years ago I was chatting with the Ryde Harbourmaster and he was telling me that when this hovercraft left Ryde, many were shaking their heads at the gusty wind conditions (Gale F.Eight.) and how risky it was, because if the wind got under the skirt and flipped it .....!!

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Weebouy
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 22:36:45 PM »

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John
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 19:09:57 PM »

Illustrated London News - Saturday 01 April 1972

Hovercraft accident:
Four people died when an SRN6 hovercraft overturned in the Solent on March 4th after crossing from the Isle of Wight in a gale. The pilot, Mr Anthony Course, right, suffered a bruised forehead. The craft was later lifted from the bottom of Portsmouth harbour, above, and an investigation was undertaken. Until the results were known it was decided not to operate hovercraft in winds which exceeded 30 knots.

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