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Fire put out on cruise liner off English coast, passengers safe

A ship with 708 passengers on board caught fire in the English Channel early on Saturday but the engine-room blaze was quickly under control.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 17:55 IST

A ship with 708 passengers on board caught fire in the English Channel early on Saturday but the engine-room blaze was quickly under control, a coastguard spokesman said.

A Dover Coastguard spokesman said the crew had readied lifeboats for evacuation but there would be no need to abandon ship.

"It's very unlikely that they'll abandon now," he said.

A six-strong maritime fire response team had been helicoptered onto the ship and the fire was out, he said.

The blaze started at 3:47 am (0247 GMT) in the engine room and the ship sent an S.O.S. distress signal around 4:00 am. The cause of the fire was not known.

The liner, called the Calypso, was 30 kilometres off the southeast England town of Eastbourne, Sky News reported.

A spokesman for Louis Cruise Line, which operates the ship, said most of the passengers were Dutch.

First Published: May 06, 2006 10:17 IST