Lifeboats launched after fire breaks out on passenger ferry in the Channel


Three lifeboats were despatched from Kent to a ferry in the English Channel after a fire broke out on board.

The Isle of Innisfree was around halfway across the Channel when the blaze broke out in the engine room.

There were 183 people on board in total – 94 passengers and 89 crew members. Everyone is safe and accounted for.

The Isle of Innisfree in the middle of the image, surrounded by RNLI boats. Pic: MarineTraffic
The Isle of Innisfree in the middle of the image, surrounded by RNLI boats. Pic: MarineTraffic

A French tug boat was also been deployed to the scene.

A spokesman for Irish Ferries said: “Irish Ferries can confirm that this evening, the crew on board its ship the Isle of Innisfree were alerted to a small fire in the ship’s engine room while the ship was sailing from Dover to Calais.

“Irish Ferries crews train regularly to deal with incidents at sea, and the company has put its training into action and the fire has been extinguished.

“The vessel is currently safely at anchor, and as the situation is stable, no emergency assistance is expected to be required.”

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HM Coastguard said: “All passengers and crew are accounted for, and no injuries have been reported.

“The three RNLI lifeboats have been stood down and the French Coast Guard is now coordinating the incident.”

Irish Ferries added that when the vessel arrives in Calais, a “full investigation into the incident in conjunction with the relevant authorities” will be launched.

“In the meantime, the Isle of Innisfree’s imminent sailings have been cancelled, and affected customers are being contacted with alternative travel arrangements,” it said.

“Irish Ferries would like to sincerely apologise to all passengers affected by this evening’s incident, and the disruption to their onward journeys.”

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