A hovercraft on a regular passenger run flipped over on its back in rough seas off Southern England on Saturday afternoon (4 March).
SV PAN...People form human chain to pull hovercraft ashore
GV Helicopter overhead, TILT down to upturned hovercraft
SV People helping pull craft ashore
SV Naval divers on shore
SV PAN..Body brought up beach on stretcher
CV Coastguard John Andrews talking....
SOUND STARTS: "I was parked....."
SOUND ENDS: "....rolled right over".
"I was parked on the car park at Clarence Pier, watching the hovercraft come in, in very, very rough conditions. I saw it slow right down coming across the Hamilton Sank, the wind was very strong. She suddenly tipped on a very peculiar swell, went right down on her side, lifted, stood on her side, then rolled right over."
CROWD ON SHOE LOOKING TOWARDS UPTURNED HOVERCRAFT; VOLUNTEERS HAULING ON ROPE TO PULL CRAFT ASHORE; VICTIM ON STRETCHER; COASTGUARD INTERVIEWED.
Initials ES. 1.40 ES. 1.47
A B.B.C. camera team interviewed one of the eyewitnesses of the tragedy, coastguard John Andrews:
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Background: A hovercraft on a regular passenger run flipped over on its back in rough seas off Southern England on Saturday afternoon (4 March). The 10-ton 38-passenger craft was heading into shore at Southsea, near Portsmouth, having made a seven-minute trip across the Solent from Ryde on the Isle of Wight and was only 400 yards offshore in a heavy swell when it rose up in the air, and was blown over onto its back. A helicopter and rescue boats rushed out to pick up survivors who could be seen clinging to the still floating hovercraft. Navy divers called to the scene found four dead passengers who'd been trapped in the upturned cabin... at least three others are not accounted for. Twenty passengers were rescued. The SRN-6 hovercraft, operated by Hovertravel Ltd, a long-experience operata- of air-cushion craft, was later towed towards shore by a tug and hauled onto the beach by volunteered.