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.
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.
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.
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.
A passenger on the ferry which has been forced to dock after a fire started on board has described the scenes on the ship.
Olivia Elliott told Sky News: "We were all sat upstairs when the alarm went off and the captain came on the tannoy and told us to evacuate to the outer deck because there was a fire.
"We were out there for about 40 minutes and then we had to wait in the nightclub area.
"We are now back in our rooms. We don't know when we will be allowed to leave the ship."
Sky News correspondent Gerard Tubb has posted pictures of police vans arriving at the DFDS ferry terminal after a fire broke out on a passenger ferry on the North Sea.
Four police vans arrive at DFDS ferry terminal where MS King Seaways has docked after fire. Passenger detained http://t.co/bPj0Sfa3Tl
Fire engine has arrived. DFDS say 4 crew, 2 passengers air lifted to hospital. Coastguard says 7 ppl air lifted http://t.co/6PHG1hvvv4
A passenger suspected of starting a fire on board a ferry in the North Sea sparking an emergency evacuation has been detained by ship staff, Humberside Police have said. Inspector Andrew Dixon said:
At approximately 11pm the Maritime and Coastguard agency informed Humberside Police that a passenger ferry en route from Newcastle to Holland had suffered an incident whereby a passenger is believed to have set fire to a cabin.
It is unknown if the fire was started deliberately or accidentally. As a result of this incident the person suspected of causing the fire, or the person from the cabin where the fire occurred, be it deliberate or accidental, has been detained by ship staff and the ship was returning to its dock in Newcastle.