LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) Crew members managed to put out a fire in the engine room of a cruise liner with 708 people aboard off the coast of southeast England early today, a British coastguard official said.
''They smothered the engine room ... and they have managed to extinguish the fire,'' said the official in the seaport of Dover, where the coastguard is coordinating the rescue.
He said a call from the ship came in at 4 am (0830 IST) and fire and rescue services scrambled to reach the vessel. He said it was called ''The Calypso'' and was operated by Louis Cruise Lines.
The official said firefighters were now on board the cruise ship assessing the situation in the engine room.
''It's very unlikely we will evacuate,'' he said.
Sky TV said earlier that the liner was 16 miles off Eastbourne, a seaside town on the southeast English coast.
The nationalities of the passengers were not immediately known.
Reuters DKS GC1103