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Passenger doctors gave first aid

It has been revealed that four doctors, who were onboard the King Seaways ferry as passengers, helped to treat those who were affected by breathing in smoke.

Humber coastguard watch manager Graham Dawson said it was thanks to their efforts that so few people need to be airlifted to hospital.

He was also full of praise for the crew, whose training he said had "kicked in". He added that it was fortunate that the weather conditions were good and that if this had happened a few days earlier, during fierce storms, there could have been a very different outcome.

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Ferry company to help find passengers other crossings

Gert Jakobsen, a spokesman for ferry operator DFDS Seaways, said the company will try to help passengers forced to abandon their trip to Amsterdam find alternative crossings.

The DFDS Seaways ferry King Seaways, berthed at the Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal at Newcastle Ferry Port. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

"We are very sorry for those passengers who have not only been affected by the fire but now by these delays," he said.

"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."

According to the DFDS Seaways website, the 26-year-old vessel has room for over 1,500 passengers and 600 cars. It was renovated in 2006.

It offers entertainment including restaurants, bars, a nightclub and a casino.

National

Passengers leave ferry terminal after North Sea fire

Passengers have begun to leave the Port of Tyne ferry terminal after disembarking the MS King Seaways following a fire on board.

Passengers gather outside the Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal at Newcastle Ferry Port Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Two men have been arrested - a 26-year-old man on suspicion of arson and a 28-year-old man on suspicion of affray - following the incident. The ferry was on its way to Holland when the incident happened.

Passengers leave the terminal following the ferry fire. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Praise for ferry crew

Passenger Catherine Jarvis has been keeping friends and family updated via her tweets. Shis is full of praise for the way the ferry's crew handled the incident.

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Got to hand it to #dfds staff, captain and crew....done a terrific job of keeping calm, organised...lots of info as much as possible. Bravo!

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Tyne Tees

Statement from DFDS Seaways following blaze on ferry

Yesterday, Saturday 28 December, a fire broke out in a passenger cabin on the DFDS Seaways cruise ferry King Seaways, which was en route from Newcastle to Amsterdam. The incident happened at around about 2245 and crew acted quickly to contain the fire, which was extinguished within 15 minutes.

We can confirm that there were 946 passengers and 127 crew members onboard. Fifteen passengers and eight crew members are reported to have suffered from smoke- related injuries.

The ship returned to Newcastle at around 4.30am and an investigation is now underway.

– DFDS Seaways
National

Two men arrested following North Sea ferry fire

Two men have been arrested by Northumbria Police following a fire on board a ferry in the North Sea.

We received reports from the coastguard at around 12.05am today of a suspected arson on board a ferry in the North Sea. Officers from Northumbria Police are working with DFDS Seaways and others helping to assist with the situation. Two men have been arrested - a 26-year-old man on suspicion of arson and 28-year-old man on suspicion of affray. They are helping us with our inquiries.

– Northumbria Police spokesperson

Pregnant woman was among those rescued

A pregnant passenger was one of the six people airlifted to hospital off the ferry involved in last night's drama. She and five crew members were airlifted to hospital in Scarborough, it's thought all were suffering from breathing in smoke.

The MS King Seaways ferry, with 946 passengers 127 crew on board had left Newcastle for Amsterdam when a fire broke out in one of the passenger accommodation blocks. It is now back in Newcastle. The rescue operation was co-ordinated by the Humber coastguard.

The crew did a magnificent job in putting the fire out. A fire at sea is a very serious matter and could easily have led to loss of lives.

– Humber coastguard watch manager Graham Dawson
National

Passengers wait to leave fire hit North Sea ferry

Passenger Steven Basford tweeted this photograph of passengers waiting to get off King Seaways ferry following a fire on board, which left six people needing hospital treatment.

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Hi @dfdsseaways , when can we get off this ferry? Will you be able to get us to AMS? An announcement would be great! http://t.co/NSWXhh5m8O

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