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.
Two passengers and four crew members have been taken to hospital after a fire broke out on board a ferry on the North Sea, ferry company DFDS Seaways said tonight.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said:
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.
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. They have been checked by a doctor onboard, and two passengers and four crew members have been taken ashore by helicopter for further medical assistance at a local hospital in the UK.
A person suspected of setting fire to a cabin on a passenger ferry tonight has been detained, Humberside Police has said.
Police were called at 11pm when the fire broke out on the ferry heading to Holland. The force added that it was not sure if the fire was deliberate.
A passenger ferry on the North Sea in which seven people were rescued from after a fire broke out is now on its way back to the International Ferry Terminal at North Shields, Tyneside, where the damage will be assessed, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said.
Spokeswoman Jo Rawlings said:
The ferry is now returning to port and is due to arrive back in North Shields between 4am and 5am.
All helicopters and life boats involved have been stood down, however Humber Coastguard is in constant contact with the ferry and an RAF helicopter is on stand-by should it need further assistance.
Six crew members and a passenger have been airlifted to hospital after a fire on board a ferry approximately 30 miles north east of Flamborough Head, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said.
MS Kings Seaways reported that they had a fire in one of the passenger accommodation blocks, but it had been brought under control and was now out.
Seven people were rescued off a North Sea ferry after breathing in smoke when a fire broke out 30 miles from land, the Coastguard said.
The MS King Seaways had 946 passengers on board and a crew of 127 when a fire broke out in one of the passenger accommodation blocks soon after 10pm last night.
Bev Allen, Watch Manager at Humber Coastguard, said: "We have been in close contact with the MS King Seaways this evening and sent resources to assist in the evacuation of those passengers and crew that were showing signs of smoke inhalation.
"We are now in discussion with the ferry to decide the next best course of action."
The RNLI has said it has stood down assistance of a ferry blaze on the North Sea, after saying it would send two lifeboats earlier.
Both RNLI lifeboats have now been stood down from the rescue operation of ferry passengers off Flamborough Head
Six people have been rescued from a fire on board a ferry on the North Sea, RAF Squadron Leader Dave Webster has told ITV News. The passengers were taken to a hospital in Scarborough.
Two RAF helicopters were scrambled to help injured passengers on the service around 30 miles east of Flamborough Head.
Two RNLI lifeboats from Bridlington and Filey have been launched to assist with the rescue operation of passengers from a ferry blaze near Flamborough Head, near Scarborough.
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.
But that figure was downgraded to four people, and they were thought to have been lifted off the vessel well within an hour by a crew from RAF Leconfield near Hull.
A second helicopter from RAF Boulmer, Northumberland, was due to arrive around 11.30pm and was expected to stay close to the vessel on stand-by. He said the operation was being co-ordinated by the Humber Coastguard.