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.
Travellers on the North Sea ferry forced to return to the UK after a fire broke out on board have been describing the scenes from last night.
One said fights broke out when it was announced the ship would not be continuing to Holland, while another described the “Chinese whispers” surrounding the causes of the fire.
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.
– Humber coastguard watch manager Graham Dawson
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.
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.
"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.
Passengers have begun to leave the Port of Tyne ferry terminal after disembarking the MS King Seaways following a fire on board.
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.
Two men have been arrested by Northumbria Police following a fire on board a ferry in the North Sea.
– Northumbria Police spokesperson
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.
Passengers on a ferry, that left North Shields bound for Amsterdam, have begun disembarking following a fire onboard.
MS King Seaways left North Shields last night, 40 miles down the coast at Flamborough Head the ferry alarm was forced to return to shore when a fire broke out.
An RAF spokesman has said that a call for rescue for a ferry blaze on the North Sea came in at around 10.40pm for RAF assistance, adding that they thought that 23 people would need to be winched to safety after they had breathed in smoke.
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.
DFDS Vice President Gert Jakobsen told ITV News that 15 passengers and eight crew members were treated for smoke-related injuries on the King Seaways ferry following a fire on board.
Four crew members and two passenger were later taken to Scarborough Hospital by helicopter for further treatment. Police are investigating the incident.
Police are questioning passengers on a North Sea ferry to establish how a fire started which led to an emergency rescue.
Six people had to be winched off the ship after they breathed in smoke. One passenger suspected of starting the fire in a cabin room has been detained on board.
Northumbria Police are now believed to be dealing with the incident.