A man has appeared in court accused of starting a fire on a ship that caused hundreds of thousands of pounds. Six people had to be winched to safety from the King Seaways ferry, which was 25 miles off the Yorkshire coast. Lucy Taylor reports.
A man charged with arson after a ferry bound for Amsterdam caught fire allegedly caused £815,000 worth of damage to the vessel. 26-year-old Boden George Hughes is accused of setting fire to a cabin while onboard the DFDS boat King Seaways during the weekend.
The ferry, travelling from Newcastle to Holland, never reached its destination and was forced to turn around after the blaze on Saturday night (December 28).
At North Tyneside Magistrates Court Hughes, of Fulwell Road, Sunderland was charged with committing arson with intent in that he had 'damaged by fire cabin 568 of the King Seaways DFDS ferry to the value of approximately £815,000.'
The charge also stated that Hughes allegedly intended 'to destroy property or damage by recklessness as to whether such property would be destroyed or damaged and intending by the damage to endanger the life of another.'
Hughes, who wore a grey sweatshirt and was sporting a black eye in the dock, spoke only to confirm his age, date of birth and address. He is also charged with affray in that he threatened 'unlawful violence towards another.'
There was no application for bail and Hughes was remanded in custody.
Hughes will next appear at Newcastle Crown Court on January 14.
Police have charged a 26-year-old man in connection with a fire started on a North Sea ferry on Saturday night.
Boden George Hughes of Fulwell Road in Sunderland has been charged with arson reckless to endangering life - and affray.
He has been remanded in custody and will appear before North Tyneside magistrates tomorrow morning (December 31).
Passengers on board a ferry struck by suspected arson are due to set sail again for Holland, later today.
The ship had to return to North Shields after the blaze broke out on Saturday night.
A 26-year-old man remains in custody, while a 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of affray has been bailed.
Gregg Easteal has been at the ferry terminal.
A 28-year-old man, arrested after a fire on board a ferry to the Netherlands, has been bailed.
He was questioned on suspicion of affray after a fire in a cabin on the DFDS MS King Seaways on Saturday night.
A 26-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of arson, remains in police custody.
Passengers stranded after a fire on board a ferry from North Shields to the Netherlands are being transferred to Hull to catch another ferry.
Around 250 passengers will travel from Hull to Rotterdam this evening on a P&O ferry.
Another 9 are travelling to Zeebrugge in Belgium.
There were 946 passengers and 127 crew on board the DFDS Seaways ferry when a fire was discovered in a cabin on Saturday evening.
Two men are still being questioned by police.
DFDS is paying for the alternative transport on P&O ferries.
A DFDS spokesperson has apologised to customers who have been affected by a ferry fire.
– Gert Jakobsen, DFDS Seaways
"We are very sorry for those passengers who have not only been affected by the fire but now by these delays. We are looking at how we can help them.
"The cabin that was burnt is very damaged and there has been some smoke damage to surrounding cabins but the ship's function has not been affected in any way and is safe to travel."
Tina Gelder has the full story on the dramatic rescue of six people from a ferry in the North Sea. It's thought the fire onboard the King Seaways was caused by a smoker. Two men have been arrested.
Footage has been released of the dramatic rescue of six people from the King Seaways ferry off Flamborough Head. It was carried out by crews from RAF Leconfield, who airlifted the six - including a pregnant woman - to hospital in Scarborough.
Footage taken by a passenger onboard the King Seaways ferry shows passengers on deck awaiting instructions.