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Boat crew stranded after fire.

A MASSIVE rescue operation was under way today after 23 crew members were stranded in one of the busiest shipping channels in the world following an engine fire.

The blaze wiped out power on board the 944-ton Russian trawler Marginella about 16 miles south of the Isle of Wight, Hants.

The crew managed to put out the fire early this morning but were stranded mid-Channel without power in the busy shipping lane and called for help.

Two French warships, Lynx and Gepard, picked up the alert and were sent out to watch over the 1985-built trawler.

French Coastguard tug Abeille Liberte was due to tow the vessel and its 23 crew members, who are all safe and well, to Cherbourg, in France, this morning.

Mike Greiner, Solent Coastguard watch manager, said: "Fortunately weather conditions in the area are not particularly challenging this morning.

"Although communication has been difficult at times, we have been grateful to other nearby vessels that have had Russian speakers."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 6, 2007
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