9:09pm Tuesday 11th June 2013
By Andrew Douglas
A member of crew was airlifted to hospital after a fire on a tanker sailing off the North Yorkshire coast this afternoon (Tuesday, June 11).
The Mississippi Star was six miles north east of Whitby when the alarm was raised at 12.30pm.
A fire broke out in the engine room which the crew managed to isolate and extinguish.
The RNLI lifeboat from Whitby was launched, followed by Scarborough RNLI lifeboat which was already at sea for a training exercise.
A member of the tanker’s crew was airlifted from the vessel by RAF rescue helicopter and taken to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, while the lifeboats stood by in case the crew had to abandon ship.
Glenn Goodberry, Whitby RNLI Mechanic, said: "By the time we reached her, the ship had drifted several miles but the fire was out."
Scarborough lifeboat returned to station but the Whitby crew stood by.
A tug was being called to take the tanker into the Tees where the damage can be assessed.
The tanker, which was not carrying any cargo, had left the Tees this morning bound for Antwerp.
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