Sandbanks Ferry has been closed from about 1.30pm today following a breakdown.Â
It is understood that a chain snapped.Â
There had been concern just after 12 noon when an alarm sounded as the ferry was about to load on the Sandbanks side. The crew started an evacuation of foot passengers and cyclists who had just boarded but the all-clear was given after a few minutes.Â
There are hopes of an overnight repair.
Wilts & Dorset set up an emergency bus service via Wareham which took 90 minutes to reach Bournemouth from Swanage. Passengers arriving at Shell Bay on buses from Studland were carried across the harbour entrance ten at a time in a small vessel.Â
The annual 8 week ferry refit is due to start on 22 September.