Lifeboats scrambled to passenger ferry in Channel after blaze breaks out onboard

3 March 2023, 21:01 | Updated: 4 March 2023, 03:52

Lifeboats have been despatched to a passenger ferry in the English Channel after a blaze broke out on board.
Lifeboats have been despatched to a passenger ferry in the English Channel after a blaze broke out on board. Picture: PA

By Chris Samuel

Lifeboats have been despatched to a passenger ferry in the English Channel after a blaze broke out on board.

The Isle of Innisfree, which was sailing from Dover to Calais, was about halfway across the Channel a fire broke out in the boat's engine room.

There were around 183 people on board, of which 94 were passengers and 89 were crew members. Everyone is safe and accounted for.

Three lifeboats from Dover, Ramsgate and Dungeness, and a french tug boat were scrambled to the vessel, which is owned by Irish Ferries.

The firm said the fire had been contained.

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A spokesperson for Irish Ferries said: "Irish Ferries can confirm that this evening, the crew on board its ship the Isle of Innisfree were alerted to a small fire in the ship's engine room while the ship was sailing from Dover to Calais.

"Irish Ferries crews train regularly to deal with incidents at sea, and the company has put its training into action and the fire has been extinguished.

"The Coastguard has been informed and despatched 3 RNLI lifeboats as a precautionary measure.

The Isle of Innisfree (stock image)
The Isle of Innisfree (stock image). Picture: PA

"The vessel is currently safely at anchor, and as the situation is stable, no emergency assistance is expected to be required."

HM Coastguard said it was alerted at just after 17:30 on Friday to "a fire in the engine room of a ferry that was mid-way from Dover to Calais."

The vessel is shown in the middle of the image, around halfway across the Channel
The vessel is shown in the middle of the image, around halfway across the Channel. Picture: MarineTraffic

"The vessel has confirmed that the fire has been extinguished, but it is experiencing technical issues," it continued.

"The incident is ongoing."

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