The Daily Mail reports this evening that a fire broke out aboard a ferry operated by DFDS Seaways in the North Sea.
The ferry is the King Seaways, carrying 1,000 passengers, which was sailing from North Shields (in the U.K.) and heading to Amsterdam. DFDS is a Danish owned ferry operation.
The fire reportedly started in a passenger cabin and was apparently set by a passenger. The ferry company is not stating what caused the fire. Passengers and crew were reportedly overcome by smoke which they inhaled. RAF helicopters were involved in the medevacs.
The ferry is now in the process of returning to port, and is expected to return in a few hours.
DFDS released the following statement:
"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."
The Daily Mail reports that the DFDS ferries have a reputation for stag parties and heavy drinking. Last year we reported about a 28 year old man who was reportedly sailing on a DFDS Amsterdam "booze cruise" when he awoke in the ship's bar on fire: Passenger Seriously Burned in Cruise Ship Bar.
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December 29th Update: Via Daily Mail: "We were treated like animals on that boat." Passengers' anger after fire-hit ferry bound for Amsterdam returns to port but travelers are kept on board as police arrest two men.
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