British Cruise Ship Catches Fire in English Channel with 708 People Aboard

A fire broke out Saturday in the engine room of a cruise ship carrying 708 people in the English Channel, the British coast guard said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze within three hours after the Calypso, a Cyprus-registered ship, issued a Mayday, said Eric Birkett, a duty watch manager at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. No one was injured.

There was no immediate word on damage and the cause of the fire was under investigation, he said.

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"Many, many search and rescue units" responded to the ship's distress signal, Birkett said. Helicopters ferried fire crews out to the ship.

The ship had been traveling from England to the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. There were 246 crew and 462 passengers on board.