May 6, 2006

Fire out on cruise liner off England

LONDON (Reuters) - Crew members put out a fire in the
engine room of a cruise liner with 708 people aboard off the
coast of southeast England early on Saturday, a British
coastguard official said.

"They smothered the engine room with CO2, which is normal
procedure, and they have managed to extinguish the fire," said
the official in the port of Dover, where the coastguard is
coordinating the rescue.

"There are no reports of injuries from the ship at all,"
said a second Dover coastguard official.

They said an emergency call from the ship came in at about
4 a.m. (0300 GMT) and fire and rescue services scrambled to
reach the vessel. He said it was called "The Calypso" and was
operated by Louis Cruise Lines.

Three lifeboats are alongside the liner, about 20 miles (32
km) off the seaside town of Beachy Head, a coastguard
helicopter dropped a team of firefighters on board to assess
the situation and is flying out a team of reinforcements.

"Basically, it's information collection at the moment and
making decisions," said one of the officials, adding that a
coastguard tugboat was also heading to the liner.

"It's very unlikely we will evacuate," he said.

The liner was heading from the English port of Tilbury to
St Peter Port in Guernsey in the English Channel.

According to travel Web sites, the 11,162-tonne Calypso was
built in 1968, has 243 cabins and can carry up to 593

The nationalities of the passengers were not immediately