Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Passengers leave Jersey to Portsmouth ferry after fire

Commodore Clipper in Portsmouth
Image caption Commodore Clipper's services have been cancelled

Sixty-two passengers who were stuck on board a ferry in Portsmouth after a fire during a sailing from Jersey have been allowed to leave the ship.

Most of the vehicles on Commodore Clipper have been removed following the fire, which began on the lower vehicle deck early on Wednesday.

Passengers and crew had to stay on board until 2230 BST.

Condor Ferries said it was not safe to let passengers off until the deck had been cleared of soot and water.

The passengers waited in dock for nearly 12 hours while 50 firefighters put out several small fires and removed damaged trailers.

Tim and Tessa Derville, from Staplehurst in Kent, were travelling with their two-year-old daughter.

Mr Derville said: "The alarm went off and... we were called up on to deck and were told there was potentially a fire and we got ready to disembark by lifeboat. So obviously, with a family, I was quite concerned.

"We had a three-hour journey that ended up turning into a two-and-a-half day marathon."

Nobody hurt

The passengers were taken to a hotel in the city.

The ferry firm said the fire drenchers had been activated after the fire initially broke out, but it then flared up again before being contained.

No passengers or crew were hurt but it is thought the steering was damaged and the ferry was helped in to port by two tugs.

All services on Commodore Clipper have been suspended and it is not yet known when it will be back in service.

An additional high-speed service has been scheduled between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands to enable passengers due to travel to complete their journeys.

Anyone due to travel on Commodore Clipper has been advised to contact Condor Ferries Central reservations team.

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