By Dan Walsh
Passengers had to wear life jackets and emergency services were scrambled when a fire broke out in the engine room on the Stena Europe ferry crossing from Rosslare Europort to Fishguard last night (Saturday).
The emergency services were alerted just before 21:25 GMT when the ferry was approximately two nautical miles off Fishguard Harbour.
The ferry crew were able to extinguish the blaze said HM Coastguard and all 88 passengers and 59 crew were unharmed and got off safely. The ship has been taken out of service during an investigation.
One passenger told BBC Wales there was an announcement to the crew, advising it was not a drill and they should take up positions.
“Smoke began to circulate and smoke was seen coming from the funnel.
“Life jackets were issued, and crew members assisted passengers with life jackets.
Coastguard rescue teams from Fishguard and Moylegrove, RNLI Lifeboats from St David’s, Newquay and Fishguard, a coastguard helicopter, Welsh Ambulance Service, an air ambulance, Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service were all called out.
Stena Line said the ferry has been “removed from service while we undertake a thorough investigation as to the cause of the incident” and thanked the emergency services “who deployed significant numbers of their resources as a precaution”.
“We are sorry for any distress and inconvenience this has caused to our passengers,” it added, and Stena Line said it had reached an agreement with Irish Ferries to allow passengers to transfer to its Pembroke sailing or transfer to an alternative Stena Line service at a different port.