UK: Fire aboard fish processing ship under control

AP News
Posted: Oct 27, 2010 9:46 AM
UK: Fire aboard fish processing ship under control

Nearly 100 crew members of a fish processing ship that caught fire hundreds of miles out at sea were plucked from life rafts in the Atlantic on Wednesday, as 13 workers stayed aboard to bring the blaze under control, British coast guards said.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said 98 crew members from the Athena were rescued from lifeboats by a passing container ship.

Coast guards were alerted to the fire just after 6 a.m. (0500 GMT, 1 a.m. EDT). A Royal Navy helicopter was put on standby, but coast guards said the ship was too far out to sea for an airborne rescue.

There were no reports of injuries among the crew, which includes Chinese, Russian, Peruvian and Scandinavian personnel.

The 344-foot (105 meter) vessel, operated by shipping company Thor Ltd. of the Faeroe Islands, caught fire 230 miles (370 kilometers) southwest of England's Scilly Isles and about 270 miles (435 kilometers) west of the Pointe du Penmarche in France.

The shipping company said the fire appeared to have started in a packing-material storage area.

Coast guards said the vessel had 50 percent power and was sailing toward Britain at a speed of 10 knots (11.5 miles per hour). Its port of destination was not immediately clear.


Jan M. Olsen of Associated Press in Copenhagen contributed to this report.