An historic light vessel docked in a seaside town has been damaged in a suspected arson. 

Officers from Essex Police were called to the incident in The Quay in Harwich just after 9pm on Friday to reports a Victorian ship was on fire. 

On arrival, police found the LV18 Light Vessel was on fire. 

A spokesman for Essex Police said it has been reported to officers that a group of young people were seen leaving the area shortly after the fire had started. 

A police cordon remains in place at the scene as officers carry out investigations. 

Anyone with any information is being asked to contact Essex Police, quoting the crime reference number 1216 of February 2.