Maritime & Marine

Published: October 20, 2019 | Updated: October 20, 2019

Ferry good news for business: Sandbanks ferry on track for return by end of October says boss

Sandbanks chain ferry which will return to full service on Thursday October 31.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Sandbanks chain ferry is on course for its planned return to service at the end of October.

The boss of the Sandbanks Ferry Company has confirmed that the final elements of the repair are completed after hydraulic couplings arrived from Sweden.

The ferry, which is currently in a repair facility in Southampton, is undergoing extensive checks and testing ahead of a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) inspection, week commencing October 21.

It will then be towed back to Dorset for several days of intensive testing on chains ahead of opening for service.

There has been no ferry service since July, causing considerable disruption to businesses, residents and holidaymakers.

Mike Kean, Managing Director, Sandbanks Ferry Company, pictured, said: “We fully understand how frustrating and inconvenient the ferry service suspension has been to residents and businesses.

“That’s why, in addition to carrying out the required repairs, we have used this outage time to carry out many non-essential maintenance and replacement tasks, well ahead of their required schedule.

“We hope that this extensive programme of preventative works will offer our customers an additional layer of confidence that we have done everything possible to ensure that the ferry will offer a regular and reliable service in the years to come.”

Updates on the final aspects of the repairs, including information on the scheduled tow back from Southampton, will be posted each weekday on the Sandbanks Ferry Company’s Facebook, Twitter and website until the ferry is back in service.

The planned date of service return is expected to be at the end of October, with exact information on the date of the service recommencement announced to the media and via the company’s social channels in due course.

Mr Kean added, “We are truly thankful for the patience and support of our customers during this exceptional outage period.

“We are looking forward to returning the ‘Bramble Bush Bay’ to its rightful place as a vital transport link for the people of Studland, Swanage and Poole, and to restoring the trusted and reliable service which local residents have rightfully come to expect over many years.”