An investigation is underway after a fire broke out on the Wightlink ferry when it was sailing between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, Isle of Wight

Passengers on an Isle of Wight ferry had to be evacuated this morning after a fire broke out on board.

The incident happened at around 9.30am while the St Faith Wightlink ferry was en route from Portsmouth to Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight.

The fire is reported to have started on the bridge, and was quickly extinguished by Wightlink staff.

At the time, there were 52 passengers and 13 crew on board. They were all evacuated from one side of the boat to another.

No injuries were reported.

St Faith docked at the ferry terminal at Fishbourne and was met by the island’s fire service, coastguard, RNLI and Hampshire Police.

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In a statement, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: “At about 9.30 today the St Faith Wight Link car ferry contacted the UK Coastguard reporting a fire on their bridge wing port side. When the call was made, the vessel was on route from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, Isle of Wight.”

“The vessel is now alongside the ferry terminal in Fishbourne. UK Coastguard immediately sent the Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team, Cowes RNLI Lifeboat, Isle of Wight Fire Service and the Hampshire Police to the scene.”

“The fire has been extinguished and all passengers have been evacuated from the vessel, with no reported injuries.”

The ferry was later moved from Fishbourne back to Portsmouth.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveyor from the Southampton Marine Office is now attending the vessel to carry out an investigation into the incident.

The MCA said the ferry will remain out of passenger service until repair work has been carried out.

Wightlink stressed that services to and from the Isle of Wight are running as normal.

“Earlier this morning Wightlink’s car ferry St Faith, 09:00 sailing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, experienced a small fire on an outside deck in a non-passenger area,” said the company in a statement on its website.

“It was immediately put out by members of the crew and no one was injured. Passengers and vehicles disembarked from the vessel, as usual.”

“There were 52 passengers and 13 crew onboard the ferry.”

“Wightlink services to and from the Isle of Wight are running normally. St Faith is at Fishbourne while initial investigations are carried out. The relevant authorities have been informed,” concluded the statement.