A Baltic Sea ferry with 331 passengers and a crew of 98 ran aground in a strong storm wind on the Aland Islands archipelago between Finland and the USA Sweden.
The Finnish authorities said there were « no lives in imminent danger » and that the divers-inspected ship was not leaking.
The Finnish Coast Guard tweeted on Saturday afternoon (local time) that the Viking Line ferry, which operates between the Finnish port city of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, landed right in front of the port of Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland Islands has reached.
The Coast Guard tweeted a photo of the M / S Viking Grace being stuck just offshore.
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“Viking Grace ran aground off Mariehamn. Firmly grounded, no leaks. . . . The first rescue units are on site, « says the tweet.
A spokeswoman for Viking Line ferry company Johanna Boijer-Svahnstrom told Finnish public broadcaster YLE that passengers would stay on the ship overnight before being evacuated ashore on Sunday.
The Finnish Coast Guard said they would monitor the ship all night and the rescue units were on standby.
The ship was en route from Stockholm to Turku with a planned stop in Mariehamn. At that time there were strong storm winds in the area.
Coast Guard officials told the Finnish media that the Viking Grace, a large ship that could carry up to 2,800 passengers, was near the coast when for some reason she appeared to be floating towards land.
Jan Hanses, CEO of Viking Line, told YLE that a strong gust of wind likely « pushed ashore » the ship in the narrow passage near Mariehamn harbor.
The number of passengers on board the Viking Grace has been exceptionally low due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions currently in force in the Nordic countries.
In September, Viking Line’s M / S Amorella passenger ferry ran aground in the Aland Islands, an autonomous Finnish territory made up of thousands of named and unnamed islands. The shallow water and narrow passages are particularly difficult for large ships to navigate.
MS Viking Grace, Finland, Viking Line, ferry, Baltic Sea, ship landing stage, Åland Islands, Mariehamn
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