A huge ship at the centre of a fire drama at sea has returned has docked in Southampton

Hampshire firefighters had boarded the car-carrying vessel that was f after a blaze involving several vehicles.

The US vessel Honor was sailing from Baltimore to Southampton when the fire broke out just before 4am today, when the ship was still in the English Channel.

The cargo space was sealed as the vessel's fixed firefighting systems tackled the fire. None of the 21 crew was hurt.

Daily Echo:

The Southampton-based Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the ship had full manoeuvrability and turned back towards Southampton, anchoring off the Isle of Wight.

An MCA spokesman said: "UK Coastguard is monitoring the situation closely."

A response team from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) has boarded the vessel after being flown to the scene in a coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent.

The firefighters will examine the damage caused by the blaze and decide if it is safe for the vessel to return to Southampton.

A HFRS spokesman said: "The MCA requested the fire service's assistance after a number of the cars she was transporting were involved in a fire.

"The ship's fixed firefighting systems tackled the initial blaze and the cargo space has been sealed with no injuries to any crew."

The spokesman said the firefighters would use temperature and gas-monitoring equipment to assess the situation.

He added: "We continue to work with key partner agencies including the ship’s owners, harbourmaster and the MCA to ensure the safety of the ship and her crew."