Stena Line: Engine fire breaks out on ferry carrying nearly 150 passengers to Pembrokeshire

The journey was delayed by half an hour because of the fire. Credit: PA/Media Wales

Emergency services were called to respond after a fire broke out on a ferry travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Pembrokeshire on Saturday (11 February) night.

The fire started coming from one of the ship's engines on the Stena Line service between Rosslare and Fishguard at about half nine last night.

The ferry was approximately two nautical miles off Fishguard Harbour at the time of the fire, according to the coastguard.

The ferry crew extinguished the blaze, with Stena Line saying they "were alerted to a small fire on one of the ship’s engines".

Emergency services were sent to the scene. Credit: Media Wales

They added the crew dealt with the fire "quickly" without "further support or incident".

One of the passengers onboard the ferry, Stephen Kearney, said: "There was an announcement to the crew, advising it was not a drill and they should take up positions.

"Smoke began to circulate and I could see smoke from the funnel. Life jackets were issued and crew members assisted passengers with life jackets. People were understandably nervous but very calm and we're looking out for each other. It was clearly a very serious situation and I was preparing to spend time in the lifeboats. Luckily the fire was extinguished and that was not necessary."

Mr Kearney added: "The Stena staff were obviously very well drilled and took all appropriate action which included issuing water and supporting people who were frightened."

The first fire then temporarily reignited and was dealt with again by the crew onboard.

A number of emergency services were called to help as a precaution.

Coastguard rescue teams from Fishguard and Moylegrove attended, as well as three RNLI lifeboats, a coastguard helicopter, the Welsh Ambulance Service and an air ambulance.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service were also involved, with firefighters spraying the funnel to cool it down once the ferry had docked.

Stena Line thanked the emergency services "who deployed significant numbers of their resources as a precaution".

The ferry company said there were no injuries and that all 88 passengers and 59 crew onboard "disembarked safely", with the journey delayed by 30 minutes whilst the blaze was dealt with.

They added that although damage to the ferry is "minimal", it has been "removed from service" while they undertake a "thorough investigation" to try to find the cause of the fire.

The ferry company apologised to customers onboard "for any distress and inconvenience this has caused."

They added: "We have reached an agreement with Irish Ferries that all those booked to sail with us will be transferred to their Pembroke sailing. Alternatively, passengers can choose to be transferred to an alternative Stena Line sailing at a different port."