Wednesday 29 March 2017

316 escape blaze on packed ferry

More than 200 passengers on an Irish Ferries vessel were put on evacuation standby as firefighters tackled a blaze that broke out on board.

A boiler room fault triggered the fire that sparked the emergency on the massive Isle of Inishmore ferry after it docked in west Wales.

All 316 passengers and crew aboard the ferry escaped unharmed.

The 34,000-tonne ship had arrived at Pembroke Dock and was about to set sail for Rosslare when the fire broke out as a result of a fault in the ship's thermal boiler.

Members of the ferry's crew detected the fire while it was still in its early stages, and immediately shut down the stricken boiler unit

A spokesman for Irish Ferries said nobody was injured during the incident and “at no point were any passengers in danger”.

The Isle of Inishmore had sailed from Rosslare, and the alert was issued when the blaze started in the engine room on deck level two shortly after 2.30am.

According to Wales's Mid and West Fire Service, eight fire appliances were dispatched to tackle the ferry blaze, along with a fire boat, control unit, foam pod and foam tender.

Spokesman Harry Webber said the fire was now out and the ferry was fit for sailing.

“The passengers were mustered but not evacuated,” he said.

“What that means is that they're prepared to move off the ship if necessary and placed securely in readiness for that. But there was never a need for evacuation. It was prepared for but not needed.”

The blaze was brought under control by 6.45am when fire-fighters began leaving the scene.

The 227 passengers due to return on the ship now face lengthy delays getting back to Ireland.

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