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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

Ferry services disrupted due to adverse weather

Services are currently suspended between Southampton and West Cowes Credit: Red Funnel

Services have been suspended on Red Funnel ferries between Southampton and West Cowes due to adverse weather conditions.

Meanwhile there are delays of up to three hours on P and O Ferries between Dover and Calais.

Strong are causing disruption to sailings, but passengers are advised to check in as normal.

Man left with broken nose after assault on Isle of Wight

A man has been left with a broken nose after he was head-butted in the face during a verbal argument which turned vicious on the Isle of Wight.

The 20-year-old was on Birmingham Road in Cowes in the early hours of Sunday morning when it happened.

Police are seeking witnesses of the assault. The attacker is described as a white 5ft 9 man, in his 20s, with blonde hair. He was last seen wearing a marroon/pink hooded top.

Anyone with information should contact PC Sam Barry on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Teenager disappeared exactly 18 years ago today

It is exactly 18 years since the disappearance of teenager Damien Nettles during a night out on the Isle of Wight. The last confirmed sighting of him on CCTV was at a chip shop in Cowes late on the night of November the 2nd, 1996. Despite searches taking place and rewards being offered no trace of him has ever been found. Richard Jones reports.


18 years since teenager's disappearance

Damien Nettles Credit: Nettles family

The disappearance of a teenager from the Isle of Wight is being highlighted this weekend - 18 years after he was last seen.

16-year-old Damien Nettles from Gurnard on the island was last seen during a night out in the town of Cowes in 1996.

The last confirmed sighting of Damien on surviving available CCTV was in Yorkie’s fish and chip shop off Cowes High Street at 11.35pm on Saturday, November 2, 1996.

Damien was also positively identified by his family from CCTV of Cowes High Street at 12.02am on Sunday, November 3, 1996. This footage showed Damien walking to a bus stop and then back along the High Street eating his chips.

The files on Damien Nettles remain with the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) for regular checks. These include:

• Contacting Coroner's officers about the discoveries of any unidentified bodies similar to Damien's description.

• Analysing the credibility of any new information reported to police.

No new lines of enquiry have been identified by Hampshire Constabulary over the past year. However, the case is not closed.

Previous police actions in this case include:

• 1,134 people have been involved in the investigation (either as investigators, witnesses, or people of interest) since Damien Nettles disappeared on November 2, 1996.

• 357 witness statements have been taken to date since November 2, 1996.

• 2,553 documents have been reviewed and processed.

• Between 2010 and 2012, it was necessary for the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) to concentrate on analysing and acting upon the information already passed to police by the local community.

• This analysis led police in 2011 to arrest eight people who were questioned over the course of a year, and later released with no further action.

• Officers focused on completing existing enquiries while suspects were on bail. We did not charge anyone with a criminal offence.

• Murder or foul play cannot be ruled out.

• Hampshire Constabulary offered a £20,000 reward between October 4, 2012 and April 4, 2013 for facts leading to the location of Damien Nettles.

• Police received 30 reports of information.

• Each of the 30 reports of information has been analysed and assessed in line with police procedures.

• None of the information led to new lines of enquiry. However, the case was not closed.

Hampshire Constabulary remains disappointed that Damien has not been found yet. Our files continue to be kept open to receive any new facts anyone may have about what happened to the teenager in November 1996.

A key point to repeat and remember in this case is the reporting of any new facts - not fictions fuelled by the repetition of rumour.

Anyone with information can contact the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) at Fratton Police Station by phoning 101 or emailing

Family of missing teenager search for answers

He went missing, without a trace, 18 years ago - but now friends of Damien Nettles have begun digging on the Isle of Wight looking for his remains.

Sixteen year old Damien was last seen on a night out in Cowes. Hampshire Police believe he may have been murdered. But no body has ever been found.

But now a video has been released showing three people digging at an unnamed location. His family say if they find his body - it will help them find out who was responsible. Andrew Pate has more.

Damian Nettles' mother now lives in America. So ITV Meridian's Sangeeta Bhabra spoke to Valerie Nettles via Skype - and asked her why people have been digging on the island.

18 years since Damien Nettles disappeared

Next month marks the eighteenth anniversary of the disappearance of teenager Damien Nettles, who was last seen on a night out in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Now people are digging at a site on the island in the hope they may discover what happened to him.

ITV Meridian spoke to Damien's mum Valerie from Texas via Skype.

Floating bridge to close to traffic overnight

The floating bridge in Cowes will be closed overnight Credit: Isle of Wight Council

Cowes Floating Bridge will be closed to cars for the next three nights. It will be operating a pedestrian only service between 8 o'clock in the evening until 12:30 am. It's so road resurfacing works can be carried out in Medina Road.

On the evenings of 24, 25, 26 and 29 September (8pm to 12.30am), vehicles will not be able to gain access to the floating bridge on the Cowes side.

Signs have been put in place by Island Roads informing motorists of the situation. The resurfacing has been scheduled for night-time hours to minimise disruption to the service.

Between the hours of 5am and 8pm the floating bridge will operate services as normal for vehicles.

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