Wightlink ferry fire suspected to have started in air conditioning unit

A blaze on an Isle of Wight car ferry may have started in an air conditioning unit.

The fire started on the deck of the Wightlink vessel St Faith during a 9am sailing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne yesterday.

The fire in a “non-passenger area” was extinguished by the crew within minutes and none of the 65 people onboard were injured.

The vessel was taken out of service while an inquiry takes place and a revised tiometable on the route was operating today.

Wightlink said emergency services met the vessel “as a precaution” when it docked on the island and passengers and vehicles disembarked as usual.

There were 52 passengers and 13 crew on board.

Operations director Elwyn Dop said early indications showed the fire may have started in an air conditioning unit close to the bridge.

“We had 13 crew members dealing with the incident. They are well exercised in their duties and they used those skills to deal with the situation today. The passengers were looked after calmly in the lounge,” he told the BBC.

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