Hampshire Firefighters To Inspect Car Carrier After Blaze

Hampshire firefighters are waiting to open the fire-affected compartment of a car transporter ship in Southampton - so they can inspect the damage.

The US-registered Courage reported the fire to the Dover Coastguard while it was 40 miles (64km) off Harwich, Essex, at 10pm on Tuesday night.

The crew used an inbuilt CO2 system to extinguish the blaze and the 653ft (199m) vessel continued its journey towards its destination of Southampton. It docked in the city on Wednesday night.

Specialists from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were winched on board the ship to ensure the blaze has been fully extinguished.

A spokesperson said:

"The Courage ship is now safely berthed at Southampton Docks after being piloted into port yesterday (3 June 2015) evening.

"There were no injuries to crew or Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) personnel following yesterday’s fire.

"The ship was monitored throughout the night and there are still no signs of fire and the compartment remains cool.

"HFRS are in attendance at the dock and continue to work in partnership with the ship’s master to assess the ship and open the affected compartment in a controlled manner later today."

A Coastguard spokeswoman said:

``Crew members used an inbuilt CO2 system to flood a large area which they believed had put the fire out and continued their journey. The situation is currently contained.

``Dover Coastguard put the RAF Wattisham helicopter on stand-by but it wasn't needed.

``The vessel is now coming to Southampton (3rd June) where it is being monitored by the National Maritime Operations Centre.

``Experts from Hampshire Fire and Rescue service are being winched aboard to assess the situation.  

``Using the CO2 means the corridors and areas around the deck are now not accessible to the crew, which is why the team are needed.

``The specialists from Hampshire Fire and Rescue assessment team will look at where the CO2 was used to make sure it's safe for the pilot to get through to take the vessel alongside in Southampton.

``Counter-pollution staff from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are monitoring the situation but say it is all contained.

``Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service says the fire is contained and under control. Five maritime response officers from the service have been winched aboard the vessel to assess the situation.''

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