TWO Sunderland men have been arrested following the North Sea ferry fire at the weekend.
Two crew members and four passengers had to be winched off the DFDS Seaways-operated vessel after they breathed in smoke when the blaze broke out in a cabin room 30 miles from land around 11pm on Saturday.
Passengers began leaving the ferry on Sunday morning after arriving back at North Shields.
Some 946 passengers were on board the ferry which was sailing to Amsterdam.
The passenger suspected of starting the fire had been detained on board by ship staff while it sailed back to the port, police said.
The fire broke out in a passenger cabin around 10.45pm and was extinguished by 11pm.
RAF helicopters from Leconfield near Hull and Boulmer, Northumberland were scrambled to the ship along with RNLI lifeboats from Bridlington and Filey.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said that a 26-year-old Sunderland man arrested on suspicion of arson remains in custody, while a 28-year-old man, also from the city, arrested on suspicion of affray has been bailed pending further inquiries.