OPERATORS of the Tilbury to Gravesend ferry have apologised to residents after admitting they do not have the boats to operate the service.
The service has been suspended for two weeks and it looks like it may be some time before it is restored reports the Thurrock Independent.
The latest statement from Jetstream says: “Jetstream Tours would like to apologise for the issues experienced on the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry service.
“We have been extremely unfortunate in the last few weeks and would like to inform passengers of the situation.
“Last week, our stand in vessel “Jacob Marley” was severely damaged when a pontoon broke free from its mooring upriver, drifted down on the tide and hit the vessel.
“It damaged our propulsion units and we have had to remove the vessel from service as a result.
“Our main vessel, Thames Swift, despite engine repairs suffered another failure on Saturday and after careful diagnosis we believe, 22 years of service has taken its toll. Her engine has told us that it needs wants to be retired. We are now trying to source a new engine to give our vessel a new lease of life to restore a reliable service again.
“We do not have estimates on when either vessel is likely to be ready.
“Whilst we understand everyone’s frustration we are trying to ensure you are kept updated as best we can. Please continue to check here for the latest updates.”
The service is operated under a five year contract issued by Thurrock Council and Kent County Council.
In their latest statement on the issue, Thurrock Council said: “The ferry has faced exceptional circumstances which has prevented them running We continue to work with our partners, Kent County Council and Jestream Tours, to restore the service.”
A replacement bus service is currently running between Gravesend and Tilbury.