A blaze in a cargo ship south east of the Isle of Wight has been brought under control.
The alert was sounded around 3.45am today when the UK Coastguard was notified of a fire on board an American car carrier Honor whilst it was en route to Baltimore from Southampton.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service says The ship has full manoeuvrability and turned back towards Southampton, where it is planned to anchor to the south east of the Isle of Wight.
The vessel’s fixed firefighting systems were used to attack the fire and the cargo space has been sealed. The ship’s crew continue to monitor the cargo area and none of them are injured.
A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said it was believed the fire on board has been put out.
The spokesman said: ‘Firefighters will board the vessel via HM Coastguard helicopter with temperature and gas monitoring equipment to assess the situation.
‘We continue to work with key partner agencies including the ship’s owners, Harbour Master and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to ensure the safety of the ship and her crew.’
A marine response team will be airlifted on board the vessel by the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lee-on-the-Solent to further investigate the fire damage and determine whether or not it is safe for the vessel to return to Southampton.
Andy Jenkins, commander for the UK Coastguard said: ‘The 21 crew are still on board the vessel and they are safe and well. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it develops.’