A hovercraft traveling from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia became a beachside attraction when it was deliberately run aground after suffering a 3-foot tear in its skirt.
The private owner of the retired Canadian Coast Guard vessel told officials that it was not safe to operate the damaged craft, so the decision was made to land on Hampton Beach on Saturday. No one was hurt.
The massive craft, an air-cushioned vessel powered by twin fan-like propellers, was a curiosity for passersby as it rested on the beach on a rainy afternoon.
Because of the bad weather, few people were on the beach, which is usually swarmed by sunbathers during better weather, when the vessel came aground, said Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno. The craft landed near some piping plover nests, but the endangered seabirds were not disturbed by the activity, he said.
By Sunday morning, the vessel had been repaired, and the vessel departed for Portland, Maine. From there, it was to continue to Nova Scotia, Canada.