The red and white tower 'stitcher' rig at the Cowes outer breakwater. Picture by Peter Boam.
A MYSTERIOUS noise that has both intrigued and baffled residents in Cowes has been explained.
Islanders were left scratching their heads after hearing what sounded like a siren coming from the harbour area of the town.
One resident told the Isle of Wight County Press: "It’s been going on for days.
"It sounds like a siren — it isn’t horrendous but you can hear it when it’s quiet at night or early in the morning when there’s no traffic.
"We just wondered what it was."
The mystery was solved by Cowes harbourmaster Capt Stuart McIntosh who explained the it was ambient noise from the new outer breakwater, currently under construction at the mouth of the harbour.
He said the latest phase of work involved drains and a probe being pushed into the soft seabed.
"The probe, powered by hydraulic winches, produces a whirling noise which can be heard in the harbour and adjacent areas in both Cowes and East Cowes," said Capt McIntosh, who apologised for any disturbance.
"This current operation, which is required and licensed to be carried throughout the day and night, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week.
"The next phase which will run up to the start of AAM Cowes Week is the laying of a geotextile membrane and this should not result in any significant noise and will be carried out only during daylight hours."
Thanks to Beken of Cowes for the picture below, showing work starting on the outer breakwater.