IT was all hands on deck as Hampshire's emergency services put their skills to the test in the English Channel.

Hampshire's coastguard and fire service came together to deal with a fire at sea situation aboard Brittany Ferries' ship MV Cotentin.

The aim of Exercise Auger was to deploy the Maritime Incident Response Group (MIRG) via coastguard helicopter to the ship, with support from Hampshire's firefighters.

Members of the MIRG are trained to be ready to fly within 60 minutes of receiving an emergency call.

Group manager Mick Johns, of Hampshire's MIRG team, said: "Regular exercises with other fire and rescue services, shipping companies and emergency agencies allow us to test our training and offshore procedures.

"This gives us a better understanding of each other's roles, which ultimately makes sea travel safer."