UPDATED 13:09*

A FIRE broke out on a Wightlink ferry this morning (Thursday). 

The ship was heading to Fishbourne when the emergency call was made at 9.37am. 

The fire broke out on the bridge and passengers were evacuated from the ship after it reached the Isle of Wight, a UK Coastguard spokeswoman said.&am p;lt;/div>

The blaze, which started in an air conditioning unit, was tackled by crew and a full investigation has been launched, according to Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service.

A Wightlink spokesperson said: "On its journey a small fire broke out on the bridge and was extinguished by the crew within minutes. No one was injured.

"As a precaution emergency services met the ferry at Fishbourne. There were 52 passengers and 13 crew onboard the ferry. Investigations are underway into the incident."

There was praise for the Wightlink crew's handling of the situation by one passenger, who told the County Press what he had witnessed.

"We were sitting down having a nice cup of tea when the alarm went off in the boat reporting something dangerous going on. 

"I looked out of the window and saw black smoke coming from underneath the bridge on the port side. 

"I went out and saw the flames rushing up underneath the bridge. I couldn't see cause of fire, but it was pretty intense. The crew, who didn't panic rushed around to get water to put the fire out. 

"We were all ushered down to the main deck saloon and asked to stand on the starboard side of the boat. All the passengers were moved to the side of the boat.

"The crew were very efficient. There was no panic. We were told we would have to wait for 10 minutes for the smoke to clear. Once we were more or less alongside — they were obviously having some difficulty mooring the boat — we were told to go to our cars and we all motored off in an orderly fashion.

"As we were driving off, the fire engines were driving onto the car waiting area.

"There was no panic on board. We didn’t feel we were in danger. Some passengers were not really aware of what the problem was."
Fire on board Wightlink ferry off the Isle of Wight

We've been sent this footage from today's fire on board a Wightlink ferry, off the Isle of Wight.Full details here:

Posted by Isle of Wight County Press on Thursday, 19 January 2017

Wightlink ferry fire

Smoke seen coming from the Wightlink ferry, off the Isle of Wight. Picture by Dean Johnson.

Wightlink ferry fire

Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is investigating the cause of the fire on board the Isle of Wight Wightlink Ferry. Picture by Paul Blackley.