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Hovertravel’s Island Rescue is an innovative new partnership with the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.  This service transfers stretcher patients across the Solent to Portsmouth; improving patient care, saving time and money for the NHS and boosting positive medical outcomes.


At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, with no option of using the air ambulance, Hovertravel was identified as the quickest way to move stretcher patients from the island to the mainland.  Our hovercraft fleet was modified by our engineers with help from design authority Griffon to carry stretchers in the freight compartment in line with the rigorous requirements of the International Maritime Organisation’s High Speed Craft Code.  The alteration was subsequently approved by both the UK’s National Health Service and the local hovercraft safety experts at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in an exceptionally short time.


Once the call is received from the ambulance service, the pilot and crew will prepare the hovercraft, which will only carry the patient and necessary NHS staff. The ambulance will be driven on to the pad at Ryde and the stretcher can be wheeled up the ramp into the craft.  The patient and the stretcher, plus any additional equipment,  are secured by straps to a series of newly installed locking points.  When the hovercraft lands at Southsea, the patient will be transferred from the craft into a waiting ambulance and on to hospital. 


Our Island Rescue service continues to support the NHS on both sides of the Solent and is transferring an average of two patients per day.


Our Story 



Island Rescue Patient Return Fare

To assist with patients returning back to the Island after being transferred to a mainland hospital in an emergency, we're offering a single ticket from Southsea - Ryde for only £5.00. 


Simply book online and show your discharge letter at the boarding gate, or request the Island Rescue single in our Southsea terminal. 


Click book flight, fill out your travel details and the discount will automatically apply!


If you're travelling to a mainland hospital for an appointment, surgery/treatment or are visiting someone in hospital, click here to view our discounted fares. 

Patient Return Fare Terms & Conditions
  • £5 single fare only valid for single journey from Southsea - Ryde.
  • Valid discharge letter must be shown at the boarding gate.
  • Discounted fare only valid for 1-2 passengers.
  • Not valid for travel from Ryde - Southsea.
  • £5 single fare applies to adult, child, senior or student.
  • Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or discount.
  • Travel is subject to availability and standard terms and conditions apply.
  • Hovertravel reserves the right to review fares periodically and amend or withdraw this scheme at any time without prior notice.