The US-flagged car carrier Honor caught fire in the English Channel in the early hours of Friday, February 24, whilst it was en route to Baltimore from Southampton, the UK Coast Guard reports.
The vessel’s fixed firefighting systems were used to attack the fire and the cargo space has been sealed. The ship’s crew continue to monitor the cargo area.
The ship has full manoeuvrability and has turned back towards Southampton, where it is planned to anchor to the South East of the Isle of Wight.
The UK Coastguard is monitoring the situation and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has been notified of the incident.
A Fire and Rescue Marine Response team is to be airlifted on board the vessel by the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lee on Solent to further investigate the fire damage and determine whether or not it is safe for the vessel to return to Southampton Port.
In addition, a pilot from Southampton Port and a MCA Marine Casualty Officer will be sent to the vessel to assist the assessment process prior to the vessel being allowed to return to Southampton.
Andy Jenkins, Commander for the UK Coastguard, said: ‘The 21 crew are still on board the vessel and they are safe and well. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it develops.’
The 1997-built carrier Honor is operated by the New Jersey-based American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, LLC (ARC).