There was a massive emergency services response to the Fishguard port after a fire broke out on the Stena Europe ferry on 11 February 2023. The Stena Line ferry was en route to Fishguard from Rosslare when the alarm was raised.
The multi-agency response included everyone from coastguard rescue teams from Fishguard and Moylegrove, RNLI Lifeboats from St Davids, New Quay, and Fishguard to a coastguard helicopter, Welsh Ambulance Service, an air ambulance, Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
At the time of the fire, there were 88 passengers on the ferry. All of them were issued with lifejackets as a precautionary measure. Luckily, the passengers disembarked safely after the vessel docked into the Fishguard Harbour.
Statements about the Accident on Stena Europe
“Just before 9.25 pm (February 11), HM Coastguard received an alert from a ferry reporting a fire in the engine room, the ferry was approximately two nautical miles off Fishguard Harbour, West Wales, a Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said.
He added: “All passengers safely disembarked the vessel yesterday evening.
In a statement, Stena Line Company mentioned how the fire aboard the vessel was small, and it was quickly contained with no harm to passengers or crew. Stena added. “A short delay incurred whilst the area was made secure before continuing on passage to Fishguard arriving 30 minutes behind schedule.”
One of the passengers, local musician Stephen Kearne said “It was clearly a very serious situation and I was preparing to spend time in the lifeboats.”
He added: “I'm a sailor, trained in sea survival so I knew how bad this could have got. In fact, if it had been very windy in heavy seas you would be reporting a very different and harrowing story.”