Services cancelled after fire in catamaran

Clipper Round the World Race crew member Simon Speirs who has died after being swept overboard during the round-the-world yacht race

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SEVERAL services to the Isle of Wight have been cancelled after a fire broke out in a catamaran’s engine.

The Wight Rider II was travelling to Ryde on the Isle of Wight from Portsmouth, at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

Crew heard a small explosion from the engine compartment and the captain decided to turn back to Portsmouth.

It docked at the Wightlink ferry terminal where passengers were escorted off.

Ferry crew used on-board carbon dioxide to flood the compartment and clear smoke.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Cosham station manager Dave Smith said: ‘The fire was out on arrival, but we carried out inspections to ensure it was safe.

‘We used jets to dampen things down to make sure the fire did not reignite.’

Ferry staff used on board ventilators to also clear the fumes.

Firefighters were there for an hour.

The Solent Cat will be taking over services for the rest of the week, although a handful have been cancelled.

See wightlink.co.uk for details of which ones.