Live updates

Thousands prepare for action-packed Cowes Week

The event has attracted 8,000 competitors Credit: ITV

Cowes Week gets underway today with an eight-day schedule. There will be 8,000 competitors, watched by 100,000 spectators. The fireworks display will take place, as usual, on the final Friday. Cowes Week is the oldest and largest annual sailing regatta in the world.


Man left with serious head injuries during Round the Island race practise

The lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon Credit: Cowes RNLI

A yachtsman has suffered serious head injuries while his team practised for the Round the Island Race in the Solent.

Cowes RNLI Lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon when the man in his thirties was thrown onto a winch handle by a rope outside Cowes Harbour.

He was unconscious and was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Emergency services at chemical incident in Cowes

Police, fire and ambulance crews are at a property in Cowes this evening, dealing with a chemical incident.

St Mary's Road in Cowes is currently closed

Police have closed part of St Mary's Road in Cowes to allow Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service to manage a hazardous chemical incident.

Police were contacted just after 7pm this evening by Isle of Wight Ambulance Service. Paramedics were treating a man in his 20s at a house in St Mary's Road.

Police remain on scene and are in contact with residents.

Please avoid this area of Cowes.

– A police spokesman

Crews dealing with fire at car factory in East Cowes

Fire crews are currently dealing with a huge fire at a car workshop on the Isle of Wight.

Firefighters are tackling the blaze on Bridge Road in Cowes.


Body discovery sparks search for yacht

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched this morning to search for a yacht following the discovery of a body of a man close to the East Cowes shore of the River Medina, a few metres from the floating bridge.

The lifeboat crew heard that the yacht from which the man was thought to have come was discovered in Cowes Yacht Haven. No- one else from the yacht was missing.

Crash closes Isle of Wight chain ferry

The Isle of Wight chain ferry has been closed after a worker was reportedly hit by a car which crashed into the vessel.

The man, reported to be a member of the chain ferry staff, was said to have been pinned against the gates of the boat when the car collided with it on Friday evening.

Ferry services suspended Credit: Darren Toogood

The ferry, known as Cowes floating bridge, has been suspended and will be replaced by water taxi services for foot passengers until at least midnight.

The driver of the car was reported to have been treated at the scene.

The closure is likely to result in disruption as the annual Cowes Week yachting regatta which begins today.

Investigation on chain ferry Credit: Darren Toogood

Isle of Wight Council apologised for the inconvenience.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page last night the council said:

"Cowes Floating Bridge is currently suspended until further notice. This is due to the vessel being damaged by a vehicle that drove into it. Water taxi services for foot passengers will operate in place of the floating bridge, between Cowes and East Cowes tomorrow from 7am until midnight. Limited service will operate between 6pm and 7pm tomorrow."

Dee day for this year's Cowes Week

Round-the-world sailor Dee Caffari has officially launched the programme for this year's Cowes Week. The world's biggest sailing regatta takes place on the Solent from 8 August. This year the event will be raising money to help provide young people with chance to get a taste of life on the water. Richard Jones reports.

Surface drainage work underway in Cowes

The work will take place between Town Quay and the Carvel Lane/High Street junction

Work is to start on a scheme to repair the surface water drainage network in Cowes town centre.

The work by Island Roads under the Highways PFI began last night and is scheduled to last for up to three weeks.

In order to minimise disruption in what is a busy area - between Town Quay and the Carvel Lane/High Street junction - the work is being carried out overnight between 7pm and 5am Monday to Thursday. The more noisy elements of the work such as the use of compressors will be undertaken between 7-11pm.

The work has been programmed outside of the main holiday season. Under the scheme, sections of the surface water drainage system that have been damaged over many years - and in some cases subjected to some temporary repairs- will be replaced.

Though the scheme is not designed to address the causes of tidal flooding (which is outside the scope of the Highways PFI) the work should increase the capacity of the highway drainage system to enable it to cope with greater volumes of rainwater.

Given the nature of the work and this busy location, it is inevitable there will be some disruption for which we apologise in advance. We have however timed the project for February when the town is probably at its quietest while the work will also be undertaken outside of business and commuting hours when the road is in less use. We will also be working as hard as we can to ensure the work is completed to schedule and indeed ahead of schedule if at all possible.

– Scheme engineer Garry Stretch
Load more updates