An ARC car carrier has been hit by a fire in a cargo hold while in the English Channel.

The blaze broke out on the 5,730-ceu Honor (built 1996) in the early hours of Friday while it was en route to Baltimore from Southampton.

"The vessel’s fixed firefighting systems were used to attack the fire and the cargo space has been sealed," the UK Maritime and Coastguard agency said.

"The ship’s crew continue to monitor the cargo area."

The vessel is able to manoeuvre fully and has turned back towards Southampton.