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UPDATED: The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and other emergency teams are responding to a possible fire on board the Wightlink Yarmouth to Lymington ferry tonight (Tuesday). 

The alarm was raised at around 22:00 when the car ferry docked at Yarmouth, with a strong smell of burning on the main deck and the sounding of the ship’s alarm system.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus have boarded the vessel.

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UPDATE @ 22:45 – 5 pumping appliances from Freshwater, Yarmouth, Newport and Cowes are on scene alongside the rescue tender and aerial ladder platform from Newport.

The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team are also at the quayside in Yarmouth, alongside Police and ambulance crews. Yarmouth RNLI have been put on standby.

It is understood a fire has broke out in the engine room of Wight Sky, with a possible explosion reported.

UPDATE @ 23:05 – The Isle of Wight Ambulance Service has rushed 1 casualty to hospital tonight. It is understood they have been injured in the incident, suffering burns and lacerations.

Firefighters are now withdrawing from ‘Wight Sky’ having contained and extinguished the fire.

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UPDATE @ 23:45 – Wightlink have confirmed that their Yarmouth to Lymington service has been suspended until tomorrow morning due to a ‘mechanical problem’.

No statement has been issued by the cross-Solent operator as of yet and it remains unclear how Wednesday’s services will be affected.

UPDATE @ 23:43 – Jeff Walls, Station Officer for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service has praised the swift actions of Wightlink staff in preventing the fire from spreading.

It has been confirmed that 3 breathing apparatus-equipped firefighters entered the engine room to extinguish the fire using a hose reel and extinguishers on board. The ship’s suppresion system also assisted the firefighting efforts, which have now concluded.

It is understood oil in the engine ignited, causing the fire and resulting in the loss of 1 of the 4 engines. An explosion has now been ruled out.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that a man in his 50s has sustained burns to his face, neck and hands. He is currently being treated at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.

The incident has been brought to a close and emergency teams are now standing down.

UPDATE WED @ 00:44 – Wightlink have issued a statement on the incident.

A spokesperson has said:

“A fire broke out on board Wightlink’s 21:00 sailing from Lymington to Yarmouth on Tuesday 12 September 2017, beneath the car deck, as the ship approached the Isle of Wight.

“Emergency services attended the ferry Wight Sky on its arrival at Yarmouth, one crew member was taken to hospital in Newport and has now been discharged.

“On arrival, all passengers disembarked safely from the ferry in Yarmouth with their vehicles.

“A full investigation is underway and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.

“Early morning sailings on the Lymington-Yarmouth route on Wednesday 13 September have been cancelled and customers transferred to Wightlink’s Portsmouth-Fishbourne service. This affects the 05:35, 06:40 and 07:45 sailings from Lymington and the 06:25, 07:50 and 08:50 from Yarmouth”.

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