A 650ft ferry is ablaze in the Baltic Sea after an explosion on the upper deck.
Firefighting ships were spraying the vessel with water to try and prevent it from breaking apart and spilling fuel into the sea.
About 204 passengers and 32 crew were rescued by six ships that moved in to help after the explosion on the Lisco Gloria at around midnight on Friday.
Three people were taken to hospital by helicopter and another 19 were slightly injured, police said.
The Lithuanian-flagged ferry was travelling from the German port of Kiel to Klaipeda, Lithuania, authorities said.
The cause of the explosion had not yet been determined.
"People were lucky because it all happened on a major shipping route, that's why the other vessels were quickly on hand to rescue people," Ulrike Windhoevel, the spokeswoman for Germany's Central Command for Maritime Emergencies in Cuxhaven, said.
Passengers and crew were evacuated by lifeboat and taken by another ferry to a naval base near Kiel, officials and the shipping company DFDS said.
The Maritime Emergencies Central Command said a four-person team was lowered on to the ferry by helicopter and managed to anchor the vessel to stop it from drifting.
Firefighters were concentrating on cooling the burning ship to stop it breaking apart, it said.