Saturday was not the best day to be at the beach, but those who braved the rain were treated to an unusual sight when a hovercraft beached itself on Hampton Beach near a nest of piping plovers.

A hovercraft headed from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia made an emergency "landing" on Hampton Beach when it had a mechanical issue.

NH Fish and Game biologist Brendan Clifford told Seacoast Current Sunday morning the craft landed near the piping plovers, who are nesting on Hampton Beach. The rain and the potential damage caused the fireworks display over the beach to be canceled Saturday.

"It is very close, within a couple hundred feet of a nest and a group of chicks. We will be working with other officials today to determine how to avoid impacting the nest and chicks," Clifford said. "But the birds are protected under state and federal laws, so it's not something to take lightly."

The craft's owner, Gino Leblanc, told WMUR he made the decision to bring the  decommissioned Canadian Coast Guard vessel to shore after a three-inch tear was noticed in its skirt. The tear developed as the craft went through the ocean water churned up by Saturday's storm, LeBlanc told WMUR.

Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno said there were no injuries to anyone on board.

Leblanc told NBC Boston he and his crew spent the night on board the boat after the skirt was fixed, and will continue their trip Sunday morning.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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