Cornwall

Marine firefighters airlifted to assess fish ship fire

Athena crew
Image caption The rescued crew was taken to a Falmouth hotel after being brought ashore by tugs and tenders

Marine firefighting specialists are assessing the condition of a factory trawler off the coast of Cornwall.

The Faroes-registered Athena caught fire about 230 miles (370km) south west of the Isles of Scilly on Wednesday.

A container ship which rescued 98 of the 111-strong crew arrived in Falmouth earlier.

The 13 remaining crew stayed on board the Athena, which is currently off Falmouth Bay. The fire is thought to still be alight.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service personnel specially trained in dealing with marine fires were airlifted on to the Athena by helicopter earlier.

No-one was hurt in the fire, which is believed to have started in a store.

Coastguards who co-ordinated the rescue operation were alerted to the fire at about 0620 BST on Wednesday.

The master of the ship evacuated non-essential personnel to life rafts after the blaze broke out while it was sailing to its next fishing area.

Image caption A helicopter crew winched the specially-trained firefighters on board the Athena

The Athena was constructed in 1992 and rebuilt in China this year following another fire.

The male and female crew included Chinese, Russians, Peruvians and Scandinavians.

When the container ship Vega docked in Falmouth earlier, tugs and tenders brought the crew ashore a few at a time.

They were then taken to a hotel in the town where they are being looked after by the Athena's agents.

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