THIS is the horrifying moment when a huge fire broke out on a tourist boat on a Greek island sending panicked passengers into the water.
Dramatic footage shows the boat engulfed in flames after the blaze broke out off the coast of Rhodes.
The ship, carrying 96 passengers, was heading to Lindos when it caught fire near Stegna Beach in the town of Archangelos.
Flames engulfed the Maggelanos boat on Thursday afternoon with firefighters rushing to the scene.
A horrified British passenger describes how people were forced to jump into the water as flames quickly ripped through the wooden ship.
Shaun Williams, 55, from St. Ives, Cornwall, had just arrived on the island a day earlier with his wife Nicola and two sons Lewis, 17, and Charlie, 9.
They decided to take a half-day boat trip around Rhodes in the afternoon.
They had only half an hour left on their trip when they stopped at a bay called Stegna Beach to snorkel.
He told The Sun Online: “We heard the crew screaming and running back and forth to get the fire extinguisher.
“Then we saw smoke coming out and they started handing out life jackets.
“We were on top of the boat at the time so we didn’t see the fire but then the captain said ‘everybody turn off’.
“So we had to jump down because we couldn’t go down the stairs because there were too many people there.
“We had to jump to the lower deck and all we could see was a wall of fire.
“In the back, we saw the fire so we jumped into the water.
“We were extremely scared – there were a lot of children on the boat.
“Everybody got into the water – minutes later, from where we were, the fire was completely on fire.”
Shocking footage shows black smoke billowing through the air as the boat is completely engulfed by flames while tourists from a nearby boat watch.
The Rhodes Central Port Authority is conducting a preliminary investigation into the fire that captured the ship’s captain as well as another member of the crew, ERT reported.
Shaun added: “A lot of small boats came and picked up as many people as they could.”
All passengers were rescued when five EKAV ambulances rushed to the area while Rhodeshas been placed on high alert.
A nine-year-old girl was brought insuffered minor burns and a 50-year-old woman suffered minor injuries.
The remaining passengers were then transferred to their seatsby bus.
The ship was completely destroyed before sinking. with the authorities saying they would solve the maritime problem.