The Wightlink ferry St Faith caught fire while crossing the Solent en route from Portsmouth to Fishbourne. The bridge was engulfed by flames and fire apread on the bridge wing at port side. All the passengers were transferred to the aft part of the vessel and the accident was reported to the local authorities and Coast Guard. The crew started firefighting and proceeded to Fishbourne, where docked alongside. At the pier were waiting two fire trucks and firemen, who started immediately firefighting. The fire has been extinguished and all passengers have been evacuated from the vessel, without reported injuries.
All the 52 passengers on board were in good health without need of medical assistance. The ship was detained for repairs and special survey alongside the ferry terminal in Fishbourne. The investigation for the root cause of the fire is under way.
An Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman confirmed two fire engines were called to the port, along with the Coastguard and Marine Police.
The vessel was transporting 65 people, including a number of cars, to the Isle of Wight when it went up in flames. The burning vessel was seen from the shore with thick black smoke coming from it.
A spokeswoman for the ferry company Wightlink said it was extinguished by the crew within minutes and no one was injured. She confirmed there were 52 passengers and 13 crew on board at the time. The spokesperson added that emergency services met the vessel when it docked on the island as a precaution.
The Wightlink ferry St Faith (IMO: 8907228) has overall length of 77.00 m, moulded beam of 21.00 m and maximum draft of 2.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 574 DWT and the gross tonnage is 3,009 GRT. The vessel was built in 1990 by Cochrane Shipbuilders in Selby, UK.