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Children rescued from burning ferry

The ferry caught fire on Thursday morning
A group of schoolchildren were among more than 20 people onboard a ferry when it caught alight on Thursday.

A group of school children are among more than 20 people rescued from waters off Victoria’s southern coast after the ferry they were travelling on caught alight.

Emergency services responded to reports a ferry had caught fire off Queensland Cliff, on the southwest tip of Port Phillip Bay, about 8.30am on Thursday.

All 22 passengers, including schoolchildren, were safely evacuated onto a second ferry before police arrived.

A group of school children are among more than 20 people rescued from waters off Victoria’s southern coast. Picture: Geelong Advertiser/ Facebook
A group of school children are among more than 20 people rescued from waters off Victoria’s southern coast. Picture: Geelong Advertiser/ Facebook
The ferry caught fire on Thursday morning
The ferry caught fire on Thursday morning

In a statement, Victoria Police said they believe the fire had begun in the engine bay of the ferry.

“Another ferry and a Parks Victoria vessel were quick to respond a short time later,” a spokesperson said.

“Nobody was injured.

The children on the boat wear lifejackets. Picture: 3AW
The children on the boat wear lifejackets. Picture: 3AW

“The fire was extinguished, and police will tow the ferry to shore.”

A woman onboard the Sorento car ferry told 3AW the children were brought onto the vessel following the fire.

“It’s a good outcome, the kids look a bit startled,” she said.

“They’re all in good nick and they’re all got their life vests on.”

It was earlier reported that students from the Melbourne Grammar School had been involved in the incident.

A spokesperson confirmed for the school confirmed that while the Year 9 geography class had been on the bay, they were not on the boat.

The exact circumstances surrounding the fire are yet to determined, but the fire is not being treated as suspicious.