BALTIC SEA FERRY WITH 400 PEOPLE RUNS AGROUND IN FINLAND
A Baltic Sea ferry with 331 passengers and a crew of 98 on board ran aground in the Åland Islands archipelago between Finland and Sweden. Finnish authorities have confirmed that there are "no lives in immediate danger" and the vessel isn't taking on sea water or leaking fuel, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The Finnish coast guard tweeted that the Viking Line ferry that runs between the Finnish port city of Turku and Swedish capital Stockholm struck ground just off the port of Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands, Euronews also reported.
"Viking Grace has run aground in front of Mariehamn. Firmly grounded, no leaks. The first rescue units are on site," the tweet said. The vessel was en route from Stockholm to Turku with a scheduled stop at Mariehamn. Strong storm winds prevailed in the area at the time. Ferry operator Viking Line confirmed the incident and said it was investigating.
Coast guard officials told Finnish media that the Viking Grace, a large vessel capable of carrying up to 2,800 passengers, was near the shore when for some reason it seemed to have floated toward land. In September, Viking Line’s M/S Amorella passenger ferry also ran aground in the Åland Islands, an autonomous Finnish territory that consists of thousands of named and unnamed islands. Its shallow waters and narrow passages are particularly tricky to navigate for large ships.