Live updates

21 crew 'safe & well' after ship fire in English Channel

The fire is believed to have started in the cargo area

A Fire and Rescue Marine Response team was airlifted on board a ship which caught fire in the English Channel after leaving Southampton headed for the USA at about 3.45am on Friday.

The fire took hold in the cargo area of the US car carrier ‘Honor’ while it was en route to Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, USA.

The emergency team was transported to the vessel by the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lee on Solent in Hampshire.

Their mission was to investigate the fire damage and determine whether or not it was safe for the vessel to return to the Port of Southampton.

The ship returned to land last night. Its 21 crew have been reported to be safe and well. The vessel will remain in Southampton over the weekend. Further updates will be released on Monday.


Port of Southampton dredging scheme approved

An application to to improve access to the Port of Southampton for bigger ships by dredging in Southampton Water and the Solent has been approved. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) siad it gave the project the go-ahead after conducting a full environmental impact assessment.

The works mean the commercial shipping channel will be deepened from its current minimum depth of 12.6m in various parts. The shipping channel will also be widened to 100m in some areas so vessels can pass one another as they enter or leave the port.

Port managers said the works would safeguard jobs and make sure that the Port of Southampton remained a 'competitive and viable deep-sea port into the future.'

This is fantastic news for the long-term future health of the port, for the 12,000 people reliant on it for work and for our customers who can be assured that we will continue to welcome their vessels to the port in the years to come.

"As shipping gets bigger, the port needs to adapt in order to retain its place at the forefront of the industry and to continue to be able to meet our clients’ needs

“The dredging works are just the latest in a series of investments by ABP in safeguarding the future of the Port of Southampton, including the ongoing work to redevelop the container terminal that is so important to the region’s future economic prospects.”

– ABP Port Director Southampton, Doug Morrison