Ship blaze - crews on standby

TWO Wattisham-based search and rescue helicopter crews are today on standby after fire struck a cruise ship in the English Channel.

TWO Wattisham-based search and rescue helicopter crews are today on standby after fire struck a cruise ship in the English Channel.

A spokesman for the RAF search and rescue service at the airfield said: “A crew was scrambled at 4.30am to help take firefighters to the vessel. They flew to Manston in Kent but the fire was under control and they were stood down. The crew returned to Wattisham at 7.10am.

“We have two crews on standby in case the fire takes hold again.”

The fire broke out at 3.47am on board the Calypso, which was carrying 708 people on board, near Beachy Head.

Firefighters flew out to the ship, reported to be about 20 miles from the coast, and had put out the blaze by soon after 6am.

There were no casualties and it was not necessary to evacuate the ship.

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