Live updates

Commander and four Navy officials remain on ferry

The only people remaining on the Norman Atlantic ferry are the boat's commander and four Italian Navy officials.

The coastguard earlier announced that all the passengers had now been evacuated from the vessel.

Inspection revealed problems with ferry that caught fire

The stricken passenger ferry Norman Atlantic had serious deficiencies discovered just nine days before it caught fire, it has emerged.

An inspection carried out in the port of Patras in Greece on December 19 found six deficiencies, according to Port State Control officials.

The stricken ferry Norman Atlantic caught fire while sailing from Italy to Greece. Credit: Reuters

Among the concerns were malfunctioning fire doors and openings in fire-resisting divisions.

Plans for the search and rescue of passengers in the event of an emergency were not approved, while emergency systems including lighting, batteries and switches were missing.

Watertight doors were also found to not meet guidelines, and there were problems discovered with life saving appliances.

However none of the deficiencies were deemed to be of sufficient concern for the ship to be detained, the report said.


  1. Meridian

Driver killed after car hits tree amid icy conditions

A man from Horam has been killed after his Land Rover left the road and crashed into a tree at 7am this morning amid icy conditions.

Temperatures were around -2 degrees centigrade and sheet ice hampered the approach of emergency services following the accident.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulance team who attended by car.

The accident happened at Furnace Lane, Lions Green and the road had to be closed beyond its junction with the A267 at Sharp's Corner, Horam.

Motorists were advised to avoid the Furnace Lane area and to beware of icy conditions generally.


Briton covered in soot after ferry rescue

The Italian Air Force has released a photo of British showjumper Nick Channing-Williams after his rescue from the Norman Atlantic ferry.

He was accompanied by pilot Paolo Papi, who was involved in the rescue operation.

Mr Channing-Williams spoke to his mother Dottie from an ambulance to tell her he was safe.

His stepfather, Steve Jobar, said "the first thing he wants to do is have a shower".

Italian pilot Paolo Papi alongside Nick Channing-Williams. Credit: ITAF/PA Wire
  1. Meridian

Dumped at Christmas: seven puppies left for dead

Seven adorable puppies were abandoned in a laundry bucket on the side of a road in Surrey in freezing temperatures.

The scared seven-week-old pups were found by a member of the public, where they were left scared and cold with no food or water.

If you are interested in rehoming one of the seven puppies, contact 01784 494443 Credit: Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

It's thought the puppies were bred as Christmas presents but failed to sell.

Battersea has had an influx of pre-Christmas puppies this year with 14 puppies arriving, all under the age of 12 weeks.

This includes a 10 week old Mongrel, a 14-week-old Rottweiler, a five month old Labrador, and four five-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

The puppies were found on the side of the road so it's very obvious they were dumped deliberately.

Dumping animals without food or water near a road could have disastrous consequences,but thankfully a member of the public acted quickly and they’re now recovering from their ordeal and are looking for new homes.”

– Kaye Mughal, Battersea Old Windsor's Manager
Load more updates Back to top

From our journalists