Wightlink bans smoking on board after car ferry blaze

Crew of the Wightlink ferry, St Faith, extinguish a fire in January. The company has now banned smoking on its vessels 
Picture: Christopher Ison
Crew of the Wightlink ferry, St Faith, extinguish a fire in January. The company has now banned smoking on its vessels Picture: Christopher Ison
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All Wightlink ferries and catamarans will be smoke-free from later this month.

The company has made the decision after a fire on an outside deck of Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry St Faith, in January.

Smoke could be seen coming from the middle of the Solent.

An investigation into the incident found the fire started in a cigarette bin.

The announcement comes as another fire, on the car ferry St Clare, started on Wednesday evening. The company is still looking into how it was caused.

Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said: ‘We’ve been considering this policy for some months especially as most other public transport is smoke-free. But the recent fire on St Faith, which started in a cigarette bin on an outside deck, confirmed that we should move forward and become a smoke-free ferry service.

‘We know our customers will enjoy a healthier, safer and cleaner service as a result.’

All Wightlink’s cross-Solent sailings are short and passengers only spend around half-an hour-on a ship before disembarking.

Wightlink will support staff who would like to take this opportunity to give up smoking.

For more information, visit wightlink.co.uk.