UK: Fire Aboard Fish Processing Ship Extinguished

LONDON-- Nearly 100 crew members were rescued from a fish processing ship Wednesday after fire broke out aboard the vessel in the mid-Atlantic, British coast guards said.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said 98 crew members from the Athena were rescued from lifeboats by a passing container ship. Thirteen crew remained aboard and brought the blaze under control.

Coast guards were alerted to the fire just after 6 a.m.

A Royal Navy helicopter was on put standby, but coast guards said the ship was too far out to sea for an airborne rescue.

There were no reports of injuries among the crew, which includes Chinese, Russian, Peruvian and Scandinavian personnel.

The 344-foot  vessel, operated by shipping company Thor Ltd. of the Faeroe Islands, caught fire 230 miles southwest of England's Scilly Isles and about 270 miles  west of the Pointe du Penmarche in France.

The shipping company said the fire appeared to have started in a packing-material storage area.
Coast guards said the vessel had 50 percent power and was sailing toward Britain at a speed of 10 knots. Its port of destination was not immediately clear.