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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

Almost 100 people rescued from life rafts after ship fire

Thirteen people remained on board to tackle the blaze.

In this image released by the French Navy life raft are seen near the factory fishing vessel Athena today.
In this image released by the French Navy life raft are seen near the factory fishing vessel Athena today.
Image: AP Photo/French Navy photo released by the British Maritime Coast Guard, HO

PASSENGER WHO FLED A BURNING fishing ship were today rescued from their life rafts.

A fire started on board a factory fishing ship called the Athena when it was about 230 miles from the Isles of Scilly, off the south-west coast of England.

The British coastguard was notified of the blaze just after 6am today, the BBC reports. Of the 111 people on board at the time the fire broke out, 98 non-essential personnel were ordered to evacuate the ship via life raft.

They have since been picked up from the rafts.

The French coastguard and a number of ships which were near the Athena also responded to the ship’s call for assistance.

A spokesperson for the British coastguard earlier told the Independent that 30 people had remained on board the Athena to tackle the blaze. They said the master of the ship had told the coastguard that the fire was being put out but had not been fully extinguished.

A sea rescue helicopter which is on the Isles of Scilles is prepared to make a run to the ship, but due to the distances involved, would only have time to hover there for about 20 minutes before it would have to return to shore.

Shipping company Thor, which owns the Athena, said that all of the crew are safe and in no immediate danger. The crew is believed to be comprised of a number of different nationalities and was travelling to a new fishing area when the fire broke out.

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