Firefighters were called out to a “little yellow submarine” on fire at a university research site.

Smoke was seen coming from the University of Southampton’s National Oceanography Centre after a fire started involving plastic materials.

Crews from St Mary’s, Redbridge and Hightown were called to the site, in European Way, in the Eastern Docks.

They spent more than three-and-half hours at the scene on Saturday afternoon.

A firefighter, who was at the scene and did not want to be named, said that even though the fire was small, getting in to tackle it was difficult because it was designed to be unmanned equipment.

He said the cause was thought to be an electrical fault with the batteries.

“It literally was a little yellow submarine,” he added.

“We all just stood there thinking ‘How can this be on fire?’”

No one was injured in the incident.