A CHIP pan fire on a Red Funnel ferry led to passengers and crew donning life vests as the vessel docked in Southampton.

Emergency services rushed to Southampton docks on Thursday after reports of the blaze onboard the ferry.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire Service were called to the Red Funnel terminal in Southampton after the fire broke out in the kitchen area of the Red Osprey.

The boat was due to dock in the city having left East Cowes.

The fire service confirmed the cause of the fire was a chip pan in the galley of the ferry.

They added that the on-board auto suppression system had dealt with the fire by the time the ferry had arrived in Southampton.

Six fire engines, five special appliances and seven fire officers were called to the scene at Red Funnel’s terminal.

Crews from St Mary’s, Redbridge, Hightown, Eastleigh, Romsey, Cosham and Portchester were called at 3.20pm.

Firefighters boarded to escort crew and passengers safely from the ship. They inspected the ship and found no further fire, staying on board to clear smoke.

The incident was over by 4.11pm​.

The incident caused major disruption with a number of crossings cancelled and traffic build-up in the area.

A Red Funnel spokesperson said: “This afternoon there was a small, contained galley fire on board the 1500 Red Osprey from Southampton.

“No passengers were injured, and the vessel has now returned safely to Southampton where our crew is currently assisting passengers with disembarking.

“Emergency services have been called as a precautionary measure to assess and support the situation.

“In line with standard operating procedure, our crew deployed our emergency protocols, which included the distribution of life vests and instructions to proceed to muster stations.

“Due to the ongoing assessment, we anticipate there may be further disruptions to our sailings today and we will continue to update our live service status.

“We sincerely apologise for any difficulties this may cause to customer journeys and are working toward resuming our normal timetable as quickly and as safely as possible.”