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Car transporter on fire off coast of Isle of Wight

The vessel's movements have been tracked - it is off the coast of Sandown on the isle of Wight Credit: Marinetraffic.com

Specialists are being winched onto a car transporter ship diverted to Hampshire after it caught fire last night, 40 miles off Harwich in Essex.

The crew on board the Courage reported the fire to the UK Coastguard at Dover Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre just before 10pm on Tuesday.

The coastguard had put the RAF Wattisham helicopter on standby, but it was not needed.

The crew used an inbuilt CO2 system to flood a large area which they believed had put the fire out and continued their journey. However because of the CO2 the corridors and areas around the deck cannot be accessed.

The car transporter is currently off the isle of Wight Credit: Darren Toogood

The vessel was diverted to Southampton. It is now off Sandown on the isle of Wight where it is being monitored by the the National Maritime Operations Centre. Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are working together to make the situation safe.

A number of specialists from Hampshire Fire and Rescue assessment team will look at where the CO2 was used to make sure it’s safe for the pilot to get through to take the vessel alongside in Southampton.

Counter-pollution staff from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are monitoring the situation but say it is all contained.

Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service have said that the fire is now contained and under control. Five maritime response officers from the service have been winched aboard the vessel to assess the situation.

Firefighters hold Santa's grotto for hospital children

Santa's Grotto organised at Cosham fire station Credit: Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service

Firefighters at Cosham Fire Station in Hampshire have turned their station into a Santa's Grotto to host a party for children who have been receiving treatment at the nearby Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The party included a petting zoo, a children’s entertainer, and a chance for the youngsters to watch firefighters rescue Santa from a tower using an aerial ladder platform.

“Each year we organise this event to give something back to the community, to put smiles on the children’s faces and to give families the chance to come and spend time together in a fun and enjoyable setting.

“This year, the station has been completely transformed into Santa’s grotto, with firefighters and volunteer students from South Downs College on hand as his ‘little helpers’.”

– Crew Manager Stu Vince, party organiser

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Mother and child, 3, led to safety after fire at flats

Detectives are appealing for information after a 32-year-old woman and her son aged three, had to be led to safety by firefighters last night during a fire at a block of flats in Southampton.

Hampshire Constabulary were called to the flats at Paynes Road in the city at 11.51pm last night. Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service said neither the mother nor her child were harmed.

The fire is believed to have started in a stairwell. The fire is being treated as suspicious, and an investigation is underway.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service offers safety advice to older residents

It's a shocking fact that older people are twice as likely to die in a fire than any other age group. Often that's because they live alone and that's why Hampshire Fire and Rescue have launched an initiative to help keep people safer in their homes. They've been offering advice on smoke alarms and fire prevention. Juliette Fletcher and Fred Dineage went along to the launch event today.

Older people get home safety advice for winter months

Older people from the local area were today invited to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's HQ to get home safety advice from firefighters.

Supported by ITV’s Fred Dinenage, the older persons event formed part of the Service’s three month campaign to make the most vulnerable people in the community safe in their own homes.

Since the launch of the campaign, a number of safety advice events have been held across the county. Credit: HFRS

Nationally the risk of dying in a fire for people over 65 is more than twice as high as the average for all ages. This risk increases dramatically if the person lives alone, smokes, drinks or has a physical and/or learning disability.

Older people can be more vulnerable during the winter months and spend more time in their homes alone and isolated. Credit: HFRS

Hampshire has a higher percentage of age-related impairments than the national average and now that the weather is getting colder, older people are more vulnerable and spend more time in their homes alone and isolated.

The Service is also working with partner organisations including Age Concern and asking the public to help raise awareness of fire safety amongst older people.

Fire service explains how it will tackle £12m cutbacks

The region's fire and rescue services are facing a number of ongoing challenges over the past year including firefighters going on strike and shrinking budgets.

Fire chiefs in Hampshire- one of our biggest counties in the South - will have to make £12 million pounds of savings by 2018 - leaving the service with £58 million pounds to keep residents safe.

ITV Meridian interviewed Dave Curry, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service.

The fire service has launched an online survey to allow people living in Hampshire to have their say on how to shape the county's fire service of the future.

The public's views will be factored into proposals that will be put to the county's fire authority for approval next year. The online survey closes on 7 December 2014.

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Firefighters train on board Brittany Ferries vessel

Hampshire firefighters have recently had the chance to train on board a Brittany Ferries vessel in an exercise to rescue a trapped crewmember.

Firefighters from Southsea and Cosham were given the scenario of a casualty trapped in the vessel's hydraulic machinery room where a hydraulic leak had caused an irrespirable atmosphere.

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used a rope pack rescue kit to lift the crewmember to safety. The casualty was then handed to the care of the Brittany Ferries medical team.

Hampshire firefighters trained on board a Brittany Ferries vessel. Credit: PA

Southsea's Station Manager Mark Larrimore of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

This has been a really valuable training exercise.

Should our attendance ever be needed on a Brittany Ferries vessel we now have experience of working with both Brittany Ferries and Portsmouth International Port staff so that we can keep crew members and members of the public on board as safe as possible.

– Mark Larrimore

Crews worked along side Brittany Ferries and Portsmouth International Port staff who helped organise and facilitate the training exercise.

Elderly woman lucky to be alive after mud rescue

A woman in her 70s is lucky to be alive after she was pulled from a ditch by emergency crews after becoming stranded in remote countryside.

The woman was only discovered, submerged in mud and water, by a passing dog walker near Oakley Lane, Mottisfont, at around 11am this morning.

It is thought the woman's car had become stuck in mud down a track.

Her efforts to free the car had then left her exhausted and immersed in the mud herself for several hours.

It took fire, police and ambulance crews some time to locate the casualty because of her remote location and they needed specialist off-road vehicles to reach her.

She was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering from the effects of hypothermia.

This woman was incredibly lucky she was found and she was able to receive medical treatment before her condition deteriorated. The weather has been also quite wet in the last week, so people should be aware the ground could be boggier than they might expect. It is always worth checking weather forecasts and planning routes before setting off.

It was only thanks to the persistence of our crews, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) from South Central Ambulance Service and the police, along with some help from National Trust wardens, that we were able to resolve this incident."

– Crew Manager Pete McClemont, from Romsey fire station

Hampshire firefighters crowned crash rescue champions

Hampshire firefighters dealing with a real emergency Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has been crowned World Extrication Champions at the world’s biggest rescue challenge competition. It beat teams from across the world in dealing with various car crash scenarios.

Teams took part in a number of simulated multi-vehicle pile-ups at the 16th World Rescue Challenge, hosted by The Fire Service College in Gloucestershire. The teams faced scenarios in which casualties needed rescuing - some of whom had deteriorating conditions.

Hampshire’s team are also the current UK champions in extrication.

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